Let’s go over the difference between abstract words and concrete words. The more concrete words you have in your flash fiction the better.
I consider Hemingway my writing mentor. I write the way I do because of his impact on me as a writer. Papa warned against abstract language, and for good reason.
OK, we need to clear up: What is abstract language?
Well, abstract language is language that stands for something that you cannot hear, see, smell, taste or touch.
Here are some abstract words: love, life, passion, hope, destiny, freedom and so on and so forth.
The more abstract words you have in your fiction, the less impact your fiction has. And this goes for poetry, too.
I can hear the howls from here.
Sorry I had to be the one to tell you. Abstract words have a very important place in written language. Especially, when a writer is dealing with abstract concepts. But the more abstract language you have in your short story or poem, the more you dilute your work. Many writers like abstract language and use it well. How much abstract language is used has a lot to do with a writer’s style. Just be aware that abstract language is often too vague to get across the real world that a reader lives in. I always want to write about the real world even if I use fantasy to do it. If you want to write about the real world, concrete language is the best for what you are trying to do. Let me add that this is my experience with writing.
The more concrete words you have in your flash fiction, short story or poem the greater will be the impact of your work. There is a very simple reason for this. Concrete language mimics the real world that we live in. Concrete language helps the reader to “live in,” to hear, see, smell, taste or touch the writer’s fictional world in his or her imagination.
What is a concrete word? If you can hear it, see it, smell it, taste it or touch it, it is a concrete word: siren, cloud, perfume, salt, sand, woman, man are all concrete words.
Now let me be clear. You need both abstract and concrete words to create a short story or a poem; but the more concrete words you use the better your short story or poem will probably be.
The fiction in My Ebook for Serious Writers is full of concrete language. Check it out.