Saturday, October 31, 2009

Flash fiction and Plot generators

Whether you're gearing up for NaNo or want to try your hand at flash fiction, NaNo liaisons have passed on Plot Generator for the beginning of your story and Plot Twists.

Flash fiction are stories less than a 1000 words and come in many varieties with sometimes very specific rules. Some other names are: short-short stories, sudden, postcard, minute, furious, fast, quick, and skinny fiction. Many have websites where you can share the torture of confining your writing by word count:

365 Tomorrows posts a new flash fiction everyday. You may submit your (science fiction based) stories for consideration.

Camille Renshaw provides a good overview of the craft in The Essentials of Micro-Fiction.

Here are a few types of flash fiction with specific limitations:
  • pinhead stories (50 words or fewer)
  • nanofiction (less than 50)
  • 55 word (55 or fewer but must include a setting, character or characters, conflict, resolution, so it's not, for example, a slice of life piece.) You can read the 2008 winners of the 55-word contest run by New Times magazine for inspiration.
  • 69er, 88er, 99er
  • microfiction (under 100)
  • drabble (100 exactly and its spinoffs: dribble - exactly 50 words, droubble - exactly 200 words) The Drabble Project has some examples from drabble's beginnings.
  • ficleys (64-1024 words but you can continue someone else's story).

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