When I write short fiction, I like people to have to think about what they’ve read. I tend not to over-explain things – I think of short fiction the way I think of a joke. If you have to explain it, it loses something.
My father had a very dry sense of humour. Think John Cleese, and you’ll have an idea of what my dad was like. For years I didn’t “get” his jokes – say from the ages of 0 to 4. After that I learned to think about what I was being told, and to this day I prefer dry humour over any other kind. So my fiction – at least anything shorter than a novel – leans that way, especially the funny fiction. It’s different with longer works. I know when I don’t understand a novel I usually end up putting it down because it only gets worse.
But I often wonder if I’m being too obscure. Take the little story I wrote yesterday. It makes sense if you can figure out what I’ve done with it… but I have no idea if anyone who read it, did. If you’d like to humour me and give it a read, it’s only about 100 words long. Here it is: http://lindaghillfiction.wordpress.com/2014/07/03/fishin-pole-blues/
Otherwise, I’d like to hear from you. What do you prefer? Do you like to think about what you read in fiction? Or do you prefer to have it all laid out?