Micro-Fiction is often seen as a joke, but try and satisfy all the requirements of a 55 word story, for example, and then tell me it’s a joke. You need characters, plot and resolution, all in 55 words exactly.
Years ago, I participated in a Flash Fiction workshop and one of the moderators talked about building short stories by starting with 55 words. The next step would be to rewrite the same story, only using 110 words. The rewriting happens over and over, doubling the word count each time, until you have a fully functional short story, novella, or <gasp> novel.
Actually, the hard part is right at the beginning. But, once you have the credible 55 word story written, you have characters, plot and resolution, building your story becomes so much easier.
Carrie and I both have decided we needed to kick start our writing, and we have decided to use this story building process. Better than that, we have decided to go through the process right here at Extreme Writing Now in a series of posts that has no design, as of yet, other than to write a short story (between 1000 and 7000 words) by starting with a scant, but well thought out, 55 words.
Carrie says, “As a writer of 5, 000 word stories, micro and flash fiction is a definite challenge for me. The few attempts I’ve made of flash fiction in the past have been less than impressive; I submitted them to various internet magazines and they all failed to make the cut. As a result, I gave up. Until now…
Under Alex’s guidance I hope to add another string to my writing bow by mastering Micro and Flash fiction whilst, at the same time, honing the craft of short story writing just that little bit more.
As a result of our collaboration I expect that, when it is completed, it will be a magical story to read.”
Without any additional fuss, here is the piece of [intlink id="404" type="post"]55 word fiction[/intlink] Carrie and I created as the cornerstone for a final short story:
The Heart of the Hound
Denny’s hands were covered with blood and shards of flesh.
“Did you see it?”
“The Hound. Blazing eyes, heart shaped patch of deep red hair on its chest.”
He’s crazy like the Bentley chick. “Nora’s fine, but you killed the attacker.”
Denny replied with fear, “No. Not me. The beast.”
There is quite a bit of material to work with in those 55 words, and I for one feel like we are off to a grand start. We have four possible characters, two of which are most likely cops. We also have one, maybe two assaults, a death, blood, and one mysterious beast.
Make sure you join us for the next step on our journey to a short story from micro-fiction when we take these 55 words, flesh them out, and end up with a 110 word story.
Hey, why don’t you join us in our series and share a link to your creations? We’ll include all the links at the end of each post in this series.
Sound like fun?