Flash Of Understanding

Some friends and I spent the other night reading and “work-shopping” some flash fiction. I’d never read nor written flash fiction, so it was a fun introduction to this mini-story format. It pleased my ex-sprinter’s heart. Despite the length – 200 to 400 words – it was decided that flash fiction still worked best when it conformed to the traditional concept of story: beginning, middle, end; rising action, conflict, resolution, and a change of some kind by the protagonist. It was a good test of sorts for novelists. See how much you can get done with very little. I love the expansiveness of the novel, but as one short story writer – I don’t remember whom – once commented, “Novels are great. You can just write anything you want to.”

Not quite, of course, but after writing the flash fiction I took his point. With so little time, one has no choice but to insinuate most of what you are trying to share. It reminded me again how much of art is the mastery of open space, or for writers, what is not said but understood nonetheless.

I have often felt misunderstood. I have learned through stories – and, yes, these blogs – that being understood—precisely, I mean—is perhaps not the point. Rather, the point of communication may be to stimulate others toward whatever ends they desire. I don’t know what those ends are, but I feel that I know what it is to pursue something, to follow a desire, and that if I seek the feeling of love in whatever I do, that alone will carry the day. If I seek the feeling of love in what I write, then what is not said, those open spaces left for the reader, would hopefully be filled as well by love, and so the work is done.

If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.

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