CHAPTERS 6 & 7 ("The First Few Lines" & "I Want It But I Can't Have It, So I'll...")
CHAPTERS 8 & 9 ("Kaye's Rule of Six C's" & "Compressed Scene & Story Line")
CHAPTERS 10 & 11 ("Stimulus/Response, Chronological Order & Whose Story Is it?")
Character action can advance the story or circumstances can move the story along.
Prompt: Take a short story you have written or one by a famous author and use a red pencil to underline each action that moves the story forward. Circle in orange the events or actions that keep the story stagnant. What can you cut to tighten this into flash?
Shape equates to structure which reflects plot or connected events.
After years of writing flash, one develops a knack for knowing and reworking the rules. In the beginning, keep events chronological, but don't be afraid to play with the rules after you are comfortable.
Stories have a "shape" on the page and that narrative pattern or line drawing of its beginning, middle, and end must appear balanced. To understand this concept further, I refer you to Kurt Vonnegut's book A Man Without a Country in which he outlines "story shapes."
(Google the term ouroboros.)
"If tension falls to zero anywhere in the story, it will probably fail." --C.S. LewisPrompt: For fun, and to understand the sequence of events, write your story's events backward. Diagram the shape of the story with a line pictograph. After that, write the story in chronological order and diagram the story.
Take a look at narrative poetry, line poetry, prose poetry, acrostic poetry, and examine the shapes on the page. Some poems are shaped on the page on purpose to reflect a theme. Experimental flash can do the same within limits. (Check out the concept of "concrete poetry," and apply it to flash.)