What is Hint Fiction?

hint fiction (n) : a story of 25 words or fewer that suggests a larger, more complex story – Robert Swartwood

That’s the definition as given by one of the leading lights of modern ultra short fiction. Does it go far enough? Possibly.

Hint fiction is not a posing of a what-if? question. It’s the barest of bones of a story; beginning, middle, and end. An oft quoted example is by Ernest Hemingway – For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn. A tale of death, sorrow, and moving on, perhaps. You have to fill in the blanks.

It means the reader has to do more work than with most other fiction. The piece therefore becomes a joint creative effort; the writer and the reader in the most intimate relationship of shared thought.