Short Short Story ExamplesBrief story examples
Shortfiction: Short Tales with a Long Lifetime
Here is a crackjaw of a question: How short should a short story be? The short story has always fought back against strict regulations when it comes to counting words. There is no actual guideline on how long a short story should be outside the guidelines of the publishing houses. Instead, it might make more sense to consider a short story as an independent work that, as Edgar Allen Poe said, "can be studied in one session" - or as a story reduced to the essential, so that it is "almost impossibility.... to summarize".
Or perhaps to view the determining factor of a short story as its effect rather than its length. One could argue that the best short novels are remembered long after the last words have been heard, causing a "complexity of reflection" in the readers.
In view of the foggy character of the short stories, it is not astonishing that several subgenres with more clearly delimited numbers of words have emerged in recent years. Widely regarded as the primordial "top performer of the short story", Anton Chekhov likes to think of these subgenres as a collection of Russians puppets, each of which fits cleanly into the other.
Typical use of the word is for a story with less than 1000 words, while microfiction usually refers to concise creation with less than 300 words. What these subgenres have in common is that they are compressed: every ever smaller puppet contains an ever smaller example of what we understand by a story. In the near years to come, we will not miss out either: The popularity of flicks among our readership is growing from year to year.
As the above etiquettes are relatively young coins, it might be enticing to come to the somewhat gloomy assumption that light entertainment is the inescapable end product of our ever more restricted awareness span. I' d have a different argument: while the titles are new, small stories have long since become part of our literature story.
Usually ascribed to Ernest Hemingway (many think by mistake), this small but beautifully shaped story is influenced by the early 20th centuries advertisements in newspapers and has inherited what is probably the smallest subgenre of all, the Six-Word Story, which is still being attacked by writers today.
But there is much more to trace back: This British interpretation of Aesop's tale "The Rabbit and the Turtle" could be classified as a tiny 142-word micro-fiction, while this variation of the Bible allegory "The Good Samaritan" would store properly in Adobe® Flash®.
There is a wealth of miniatures (of which the haircuts are just one example) in Japan that have developed into the latest trends, with (longer) tales written and swallowed by mobile phone one line at a and all. To put it briefly, short short films to use the publisher's tradition have been with us for some years.
The very short story is practical for digital versed reader with vertiginous life - the shortness of such stories fits well to the smart phone. What is more satisfying is that not only is Flash-fi escalating, but also misses a strong shot that "rewards you disproportionally for your time". Writing fictional content can be a tempting task, a fresh scenic shift, or, more down-to-earth, a way to keep several dishes with possible "spinning in the air".
This very short story is not only aimed at authors and editors, but also at the jurors of the many thriving online belletres. Good lightning often has a weighty name, a powerful opening line, a hint of the extraordinary (and often macabre), and sometimes a turn of phrase that makes the viewer stagger from what seems to be a "punch in the stomach.
In contrast to a poetry, it should clearly have a story - but in contrast to a longer story, it could reject the scenic attitude in order to "jump" directly into the core of the story. Whilst fictional flashing may seem delusively easy, the reality is nearer to Isabel Allende's observations that "the shorter[it is], the harder it is to write".
While some authors depend on certain industry gimmicks, all authors emphasize the crucial elements of working on, trimming and reducing a story to its essentials. There are plenty of analogies: if the novel is a three-course menu, a splinter of lightning is a delicious piece of Truffel Cocoa. When the novel is a lavishly plaited duvet, a nano-narrative is a first-rate work.
Meanwhile some good examples are available here: and last but not least some (longer) short novels from the 21st Century "Meisterin der zeitgenössischen Kurzgeschichte", Alice Munro.