Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous, heart-breaking six word story, the art of writing extremely short fiction (or microfiction, nanofiction, short short stories, flash fiction etc.) has come to conquer all of today’s genres as a form of storytelling haiku.
There are several forms of very short fiction, from vignettes and stories told with a mere handful of words (like six, ten, fifty five words for a complete story) to a stories that are a few hundreds of words long (like 200 or 500 word fiction), to the more common short stories that go up to 1000-2000 words. Despite their nauseating compactness, micro-stories must be complete with protagonist, setting and conflict, and even a resolution, whereas their great power lies in the unwritten, in the implied and hidden weight of the story that grows inside the reader’s mind.
I find microfiction absolutely fascinating, and I believe it’s one of the best ways to train your story-telling talents. It’s focused creativity and fictional stimulation at its finest.
If you haven’t yet become infected, here are a handful of my favorite examples of microfiction, starting of course with the initial master. Enjoy, and if you find yourself inspired, please share your microfiction in the comments, I’d love to read it!
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
The world’s shortest horror story:
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.
The horror story that’s one letter shorter than the world’s shortest horror story:
The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.
And some great little bits from all over the web:
‘This is our secret,’ whispered daddy.
Homecoming Queen fails to come home.
Unwanted boy grows into wanted man.
Loved her enough to pretend otherwise.
Spotted the tiger. Died on spot.
Baby digested. Unaware mother nurses alien.
Fortune cookie reads: That wasn’t chicken.
I think this is a great challenge and super-much fun. I can already see how this can help me write those damned blurbs and pitches that suck my brain through a straw.
So let me start with a tentative wrap-up of my adult sci-fi WIP in a six-sentence-story, hoping I’ll get better in time.
Lost my humanity. Allowed him freedom.