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Short Stories: May 15, 2024 Issue [#12554]

 This week: Really Short, Short Stories!
  Edited by: Lilli 🧿 ☕
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Table of Contents

1. About this Newsletter
2. A Word from our Sponsor
3. Letter from the Editor
4. Editor's Picks
5. A Word from Writing.Com
6. Ask & Answer
7. Removal instructions

About This Newsletter

Bye, Dad (a 150 word story)
by Ben Zackheim

I was nine when I spoke to Dad for the last time. I’d forgotten to thank him for a birthday present. I believe it was a Radio Shack radio.

“You forgot, huh?” he said, on the phone.

Long pause. I was a sensitive kid. I think I knew that my nine years as his son were about to get gutted.


“Screw off,” he told me, a thousand miles and a two-month-old divorce, away.

I remember Mom grabbing the phone and screaming, “What did you say? What did you say to him?” until she was crying as hard as I was.

Ten years later, he’d finally succeeded in drinking himself dead. As I stood over his coffin, I was out of tears. And regrets. I was out of everything, even breath. But I shoved a goodbye through the scar tissue. I found some words.

“Thanks for the radio, Dad.”

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Letter from the editor

A micro-fiction piece is a story told in 300 or fewer words. It’s a subset of flash fiction, which limits stories to 1000 words.

Ernest Hemingway wrote the most famous micro-story. He used only six words:

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

The challenge of writing a micro-story is to make every word count!

Here are some tips for writing microfiction:

Start with a hook:
Grab the reader's attention from the start of your story.

Compress the story structure:
Traditional story structures won't work well with microfiction. You'll still have a beginning, middle, and end, but you won't be able to hit all the story cues you may be familiar with.

Limit your characters:
It's best to choose up to two characters. More than that complicates things. Your character must be interesting.

Define the conflict:
Your story will not have subplots. Make it simple and focused.

Start with the conflict:
There is no space for descriptions, backstory, or character building.

Choose your scene(s):
If you have more than one scene, select one as primary and include a detail about it, you don't have space to elaborate.

Choose only one POV:
Choose either the 1st limited or 3rd person-limited POV.

Narrow the focus as you write:
Every single word has to have a purpose. Where possible, only one word is used to explore or describe something.

Write the story in one sitting:
For the most part, short stories are meant to be read in one sitting, so it makes sense that you should write them in one sitting.

With fiction this short, editing is everything. As you’re writing your first draft, have fun - don’t limit the creative flow. But as you edit, look at every single word and sentence then ask yourself: does this serve the story? Meaning, does this contribute directly to the journey the characters are on, or is it not fundamental to the story? If it’s not essential, cut it and see what happens. Above all, just have fun and keep practicing!

Editor's Picks

Drabble Activity 2024  (13+)
An activity for drabble writing, over 10 weeks.
#2318862 by s

Micro-Fiction Stories  (13+)
Stories 300 words and under.
#2266387 by Lornda

Drabbling Like I've Never Drabbled  (13+)
My Micro-Fiction Challenge Entries- Exactly 100 Words
#2275457 by sorry, buddhangela's broken

Drabbles  (E)
A book for my 100 word entries
#2319796 by H❀pe

 Say Nothing  (13+)
100 word story
#2320063 by Sumojo

Pocket Size Stories  (E)
An experimental collection of exactly 100 words (mostly)
#2319583 by Amethyst Angel🌸📝🪽

Slow-Mo Life  (18+)
100 word micro fiction collection
#2275867 by Annette

 Flash fiction  (ASR)
the shortest of the short stories.
#2267038 by Spring in my Sox

Microscopic Stories  (18+)
Entries for the Micro Fiction Challenge 2022 and Drabble Activity 2024.
#2275621 by Beholden

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Word from Writing.Com

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Ask & Answer

Responses to my last "For Authors" Newsletter, " Newsletter (Spare):

Samuel Max wrote:
"This article helps me to understand how to rightly use capitalization and when I should put the correct terms for a story in my writing and it helped me. Thank you for explaining the different examples of lower and upper case and when to use them."

brom21 wrote:
"Some interesting points. It's good to be reminded of these rules. Like you said, they're a real pain! Nevertheless, they are integral. But you never really know just how much they are needed until another person reads it. Great NL!"

*Heartp* Thank you both for your comments and I'm happy to know you found the information useful.

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