Explanation, better known as exposition, is a useful and necessary device in every flash fiction writer’s tool box. What you don’t want to do is to explain too much. When you explain too much, what you are really doing is spoon-feeding the reader.
And that’s no fun for the reader.
Flash fiction is so short that you need the story to be fun for the reader, because the reader has to help you complete the story. And to get the reader to help you complete the story, you have to make reading the story fun.
How do you make reading the story fun?
One way is to make the story a stream of revelation. Which means the less you have to explain the better. And this means you present much of the story in real-time. You the writer must use all your skills to paint a moving picture that tells the story. Concentrate on what your characters say and do.
If the moving picture that you create engages the imagination of your reader, he or she will complete the story, adding all the necessary things that you had to imply. Revelation lets the reader “discovery” what is going on.
This is why in the writing of the flash fiction story, revelation is usually, not always, but usually better than explanation.
The writer listened
He heard voices calling him
He wrote them all down
Be sure to check the front page for the latest updates. The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette is an online magazine of serious writing and brazen sexuality. This is the Old Soldier reporting from Pittsburgh.
- Flash Fiction Is Life At 1,000 Words A Pop (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)
- Writers, Flash Fiction Should Be “Deep” And Short (pittsburghflashfictiongazette.com)