One of my personal favorite types of stories to write is microfiction. Not only are the little buggers challenging to construct, an excellent substitute for free writing and decent stress relief, they’re also lots of fun, especially when several writers are working off the same prompt. Despite not having a universally established word count, you’ve probably tried your hand at microfiction at least once. But if you’re anything like me, you tend to forget these short shorts exist. It’s kind of a hazard of writing fantasy. When we sit down to tell a story, we’re having to build everything from the ground up, to explain not only our characters and what’s happening but their environment and sometimes its history too, and that simply takes a longer story.
Today I want to make a case for not only keeping the art of microfiction in your repertoire, but also utilizing it frequently. First though, because there isn’t a well established way to identify the word count associated with each name (which includes flash fiction, sudden fiction, postcard fiction and short short stories), here’s how I break it down:
Microfiction – less than one typed page in Times New Roman 12 point font
100 word shorts – literally 100 words or less, not including the title
Short shorts – two pages or less, in the same formatting as microfiction
Short story – anything over a short short, but smaller than a novella (which is usually between 17,000 and 40,000 words) Continue reading