Flash Fiction: Ending

My dad's old camera. He never found its Flash ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Writing flash fiction can help you identify your audience. Because they are quick to write, you can easily test different types of endings and see which type of endings your target audience best responds to. Or work in reverse and write the endings you like in order to narrow down the identity of your target audience. Remember that the better you know your audience, the better you can satisfy their readerly cravings.

  • Surprise: With such a short length, there is very little room for anything but surprises. A useful – if sometimes uncomfortable – skill for writers to develop. But the best surprise, the unforeseen logical outcome of all that came before, is in the end.

  • Uncertainty: Some questions may never be answered, but enough information should be provided that the reader can create the answer alone. This approach has the added benefit of allowing different readers to come away with different impressions.

  • Climax: Flash fiction is unusual in that there is not much room to build up to the climax. There are fewer obstacles and fewer characters. Typically, in flash fiction, only two characters (a group can be depicted as a character, remember) are involved. Sometimes the antagonist is absent or only implied, and is never fully characterized. I doubt a writer could get away with this for the climax of a full-fledged novel but it is one way to save space in flash fiction.

  • Loose ends: Because there are fewer characters, points of view, and events in flash fiction there are fewer loose ends to resolve. Also, it is more common to leave the problems of other characters unresolved. I think this practice is more accepted in flash fiction because of the space constraints.

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