Thursday, August 04, 2011


Catherine McEver has more
"never worn" baby shoes at her blog.
You have 140 characters (Twitter's limit) to write a complete story. That includes a character or characters, a problem and a satisfying stopping point. You may find it useful to do a lot of implying, using objects or stereotypes that encapsulate a lot of meaning in a word of two!

Ernest Hemingway (supposedly) wrote the quintessential micro-fiction with: "For sale, Baby shoes, Never worn." And that's only 33 characters!

I suspect key to the dramatic impact of those six words are two things: "baby shoes" supplies not just characters (father, mother and baby) with strong, easily grasped relationships but also an impending event; and "for sale" suggests that's the end of the story.

N.E. Lily likens the structure of Twitter fiction to jokes where there's the "set up" and the "climax". And many of them do read that way. Many others read like setups to a story rather than a complete story. And some actually do feel like a full story (in pill form perhaps ;-)

If you'd like to browse some to get a feel for what people have done with the form so far, there are links below.

Arjun Basu (arjunbasu), William Brazill (InstantFiction), Geoff Meeker (AStoryIn140) are all currently tweeting stories.

Thaumatrope has a collection of science fiction, fantasy and horror Stories and Serials. (Click on Read More after any of the serials to see all the tweets.) They stopped compiling Sept 3, 2010 but there's almost 2 years worth to page back through.

Nanoism and Picfic are both still collection conventional Twitter fiction.

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