Flash Fiction: for writers, readers, editors, publishers, & fans


from Matter Press’s JCCA, 7/15/17 Submission Notes

Been see­ing this end­ing a lot in recent sub­mis­sions for flash:

xxx,” (s)he said.

Then voice is described.

For exam­ple:

I love you,” she said.

Her voice was tiny, like a trin­ket.

Why it might be okay to end that way?

Well, it is try­ing for some­thing good, wethinks. Things like sub­text, metaphor, that expan­sion of mean­ing. And it sure sounds like an end­ing, doesn’t it?

Why the jour­nal might not love this kind of end­ing?

Some­times flash uses lan­guage to hide the fact that not much is hap­pen­ing by pair­ing charged, urgent imagery with an undra­mat­ic, not-very-sig­nif­i­cant action. Here, that snip­pet of dia­logue that doesn’t resolve any­thing or con­tain any new insight is linked to fig­u­ra­tive lan­guage that makes it sound “lit­er­ary” and thus of some sig­nif­i­cance. The con­cern here is that it doesn’t achieve that, and thus it reads as a “pho­ny” end­ing, pre­tend­ing some­thing that it can­not deliv­er.

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