About microfiction. Technically speaking, all the stories you are writing for this class fall into the general category of microfiction, which is usually defined as fiction under 1000 words in length (although some stretch that limit up to 1500 words; there's no single authority on just what these terms must mean). So, working down from longer to shorter, here are some of the microfiction categories you can find:
flashes: stories no more than 1000 words long
sudden fiction: no more than 750 words
drabbles: no more than 100 words
dribbles: no more than 50 words
hint fiction: no more than 25 words
six-word stories: just what the name says; no more than 6 words
Twitterature: no more than 140 characters (although Twitter now allows 280 characters)
two-sentence stories: instead of counting words, you count the sentences
Blog. To complete the assignment, write up a blog post with your two stories, along with an author's note where you explain your process: how you wrote the stories, what you think works well about them, what you struggled with, etc. The author's note will probably be much longer than the stories! You'll also have bibliography as needed (see note below about sources and prompts), plus an image with image information as usual.
Comment option. These posts will not go into the randomizer for comments, unless you tell me that you do want comments. So, if you have a microfiction post that you DO want me to put in the randomizer, you can fill out this form to let me know: Microfiction for Comment. (The form is also embedded at the bottom of his post.)
Here's the Declaration you will complete, and below you will find some ideas and strategies to use in writing your tiny stories. Please share with me any ideas and resources I can add to the list!
TITLE: I used the word "Microfiction" plus my own title (for example, Microfiction: Two Tiny Ghost Stories)
LABELS: I used the label "Microfiction" plus the week's label.
(Microfiction, Week ## separated by a comma)
NOTE: The note explains my process for writing the microfiction stories and the choices I made.
LENGTH. I wrote stories of two different lengths from the different microfiction categories.
IMAGE. I included at least one image with image information (caption and link).
BIBLIOGRAPHY. I included bibliography for any story sources I used (if any; there may or may not be bibliography needed).
Microfiction Ideas and Resources
Story sources. You can use the reading for class as your story sources, just like you do for the regular story posts. You can also browse the Freebookpalooza for lots of books that contains folktales and other stories from around the world. You could even try doing microforms of other stories you have written for this class! In addition, you could get ideas from movies, television shows, or book series, or you might try writing microfiction inspired by news of the day. If you want to write microfiction inspired by your own life, you might want to do the Biographical Writing option instead (it's like this assignment, but focused on personal writing). Photos and artwork can also make great prompts for writing microfiction.
Story styles. For drabbles (100-words-stories), you can use conventional storytelling styles, even including a bit of dialogue. For the shorter forms, you are going to have to be more creative and quirky in the style that you choose. One of the most famous six-word-stories, for example, takes the form of an advertisement: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn" (you can find out more about this famous story at Wikipedia). The title of the story does not go against your word count, so this can also be an experiment in creating really excellent titles that are an important part of the story experience.
Learn more. If you are new to this world of microfiction, it can help to read examples of other people's stories and to learn from published flash fiction authors. I'll be expanding this list as the semester proceeds, and you can let me know if you have any recommendations:
- 100WordStory.org. There is a story section, plus photo stories, along with a monthly photo prompt, and the blog sidebar contains a list of journals and books.
- How to Write Flash Fiction. Tips from a Neil Gaiman writing class.
- Drabble at FanLore. This is a detailed article on drabbles in the context of fan fiction.
- 'Hint Fiction' Celebrates The (Extremely) Short Story at NPR
- Can You Tell Your Life Story In Exactly Six Words? at NPR
- Two-Sentence Horror Stories: thanks to CW in the Myth-Folklore class for telling me about this show!
- PostSecret. The postcards here are not written to fit a specific word count, but they often tell very intense stories in very few words.
- Twitter hashtags: #25wordstory, #sixwordstory, #6wordstory
- In a Flash! Writing & Publishing Dynamic Flash Prose by Melanie Faith ($2.99)
- Quick Flash Fiction: Unleashing Your Creativity by Charles Eugene Anderson ($2.99)
- The Art of the Very Short Story: A Guide for Readers and Writers by Charlie Close ($3.95)
- Drabbledark: An Anthology of Dark Drabbles edited by Eric Fomley (99 cents)
- Chronos: An Anthology of Time Drabbles edited by Eric Fomley (99 cents)
- Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer edited by Robert Swartwood ($8.99)
Use this form if you want me to put your story in the randomizer for comments: