The Long and Short of Writing


When I contemplated writing as a profession, I had only short stories and novels in my repertoire. In fact, I hadn’t any idea that there exist a host of other forms. Of course, there’s poem, but then that’s for the real lucky people. It is said that poetry comes to only the gifted ones, lesser mortals have to be content with prose.

While I began surfing the internet for creative writing blogs and websites to gather some insight into writing short stories, I bumped into flash fiction. Few days later, it felt like a whole new world was unveiled before me. I found that 55 word stories can captivate your attention equally like longer prose and 100 word stories too don’t let you breathe till the climax explodes in a twist.

55 word fiction and drabble (110 words) have their own appeal to readers which can’t be compared with short stories and novellas. Though there is an instant gratification in reading these pieces, a lot of effort is required to create these bite-sized beauties. I’ve tried my hand in all of these and I must say they are greatly fulfilling in your journey as a writer. In these days, people have very short attention span to hold onto the words they read. A really good 55 word fiction may linger in their minds for a longer time. I’ve seen my mother-in-law relish a Bangla flash fiction anthology more than the time she can afford to spend for a novel.

Flash fiction serves a purpose of bridging the gap between micro fiction (55 and 110 words) and short stories (3000-5000 words). Flash fiction is just under 1000 words and you can actually build a good story within that limit. It allows you to stretch your story without being boring.

If you wish to dabble in writing, begin with micro and keep practising till you master macro; of course, you need to have a knack for it. Writing a micro or even a twitter fiction (140 characters) needs super craftsmanship of fitting a compelling story in such few words.

So what are you waiting for, write a sentence and then keep playing with words to turn it into a story.

Here are some links to help to jump into Flash Fiction:

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