On Keeping It Short

I’m keeping things short again tonight, because I’ve been spending my off hours for the last three days polishing up a short story for a contest deadline tonight. The thought of keeping my post short made me think of very short stories. Here’s a link to a few on Wired, all six words or less. I return to these periodically, because it is a fun exercise. I think my favorite is:

I’m your future, child. Don’t cry.
Stephen Baxter

I like to look at how these stories hint at plot. It’s an extreme example of what happens in flash fiction: The writer gives the reader a scaffolding, around which she builds a world, invents back story, and projects forward. Baxter’s line really gets me going this way.

Here’s another that I like, though it’s so meta I’m not so sure it counts as a story:

There were only six words left.
Gregory Maguire

Good night, all.


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