09 August 2008

short shorts

Flash fiction  {or ficlettes, or sudden fiction, or microfiction, or micro-story, or post-card fiction} also is know as short short stories.  For over twenty years, I've used the nomenclature "short-shorts" to refer to brief stories that are under one thousand words in length.  Most of my short-shorts are usually about 150 to 300 words.  Because short-shorts are so limited in length, often much is left unsaid and implicitly left to the reader's imagination.  Enough clues are present to guide the reader, to flesh it all out, to their abilities.  As an author, I choose each word carefully, so that the impressions, emotions, etc are conveyed in a tightly written piece shorter than most news clippings.

One of the reasons I love to write short-shorts is because even as the author, I see all sorts of scenarios and numerous possibilities for where things are going, where they came from, and oh! the applications; it's all just so rich!  To me, short-shorts are a way of allowing me as the author to present a nugget to the reader for their consumption and pondering.  Hopefully, it will spark some ideas within the reader for consideration.  I think short-shorts are incredibly interactive, allowing the reader to continue a dialog with the story, with themselves, with others.

Aesop's fables, various parables and proverbs (including those of the bible), even quotes can all be classified as short-shorts.  The most powerful short-short in my opinion is Hemingway's six-word poignant piece:

"For sale:  baby shoes, never worn."


  1. that is very profound!  Anne

  2. WEEEEIIRRRD!  I was just thinking I need to start writing some one-page stories like I used to.  Really!  My attention span is way too short to write even stories the length of what's traditionally called a "short story".  You and I seem to be mentally connected recently.  Be afraid!  I may write some for October and make the stories of the spooky variety.


  3. short-shorts.  An interesting thought altogether:  I prefer!!  to read something that requires my brain to work at the story.  You are so smart.  :)

  4. I used to call mine short shorts, too.  That's fookin' crazy cool.


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!