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Thursday Flash Craft: Your Flash Needs Implication

The more I write flash and come to under­stand it a bit bet­ter, I find that I’m drawn to the need for impli­ca­tion in flash fic­tion, of ways to imply what flash doesn’t give you the space to make explicit.

I recently began a flash with “Instead, Sisy­phus looks up.” I thought that might imply that he doesn’t look down, and if there exists the pos­si­bil­ity of his look­ing down, then he must be at the top of the hill–and that might imply that the rock is on its way down, and that we encoun­ter him at the moment before he too must descend. 

The ques­tion then might be why, of all the times he rolls the rock up and makes his way back down, does this time get the story. So the ques­tion might be, “Has he ever looked up before? Why does he look up now?“ 

The title might be the place to provide or imply an answer. The title “Eclipse” with the boul­der of moon pass­ing in front of the sun, implies one answer. “First Eclipse” would imply another. And I love fig­ur­ing out the real rea­son he looks up with title after title in search of what makes him look up: “The Stars Come Out.” Or “His Wife Flick­ers in the Sky.” Or “Every Sin­gle Time.” Or “Rock and Roll.” Well, def­i­nitely not that. So that for me is part of the joy of writ­ing flash, that need for impli­ca­tion.

For fur­ther read­ing, check out FlashFiction.Net’s sug­gested read­ings of flash fic­tion and prose poetry col­lec­tions, antholo­gies, and craft books, by click­ing here.

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You are absolutely right because infer­ence is the meat of few words and impli­ca­tion is the sauce that soaks it.

From Randall Brown

Well stated, RD

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