Where oceans meet : subjunctivity in flash fiction : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters in Creative Writing at Massey University, Manawātu, New Zealand
Constrained by a limited word count, the writer of flash fiction is compelled to distil a story experience into a small space. The relationship between reader and writer in the co-creation of the story requires a fine balance of what is and is not revealed, and
what is revealed subjunctively through the craft of the writer. In this thesis I examine
the work of writers who succeed at getting this balance right, and I attempt to hone
my own craft in the telling of very small stories.
The first section contains definitions of flash fiction and story, and
explanations of the influence transactional theory and the phenomenological approach
played on my analyses. I also draw on some writers, such as Eudora Welty, Lydia
Davis, Ernest Hemingway and Ralph Waldo Emerson who have contemplated the role
of brevity and reader response in their writing. Then follows an introduction to my
process of story analysis and the four readings of very short fictions. This section
concludes with a discussion of the role subjunctivity plays in the writing of a flash
fiction. In the second section, I present a preface and a collection of original flash
fiction stories titled Where Oceans Meet.