I’ve been writing nano-fiction (aka Twitter fiction) for a few weeks now, using it as a warm up exercise. What’s great about it, and why it’s an exercise I’ve stuck with, is the concision it forces upon you– a hard limit of 140 character (not words, characters– including spaces and punctuation), definitely helps to concentrate the mind. The other excellent thing about writing nano-fiction is the ease of sending it out to the various Twitter magazines. Knowing other people are going to read your work makes the exercise more consequential and less like typing on a treadmill. Responses are usually quick and a few even pay professional rates, which translates into about $1.50 per piece– not Stephen King $$$-levels but better than a hole in the head.
The notion of “hint fiction” is especially appealing. Too much of the stuff on Twitter and online lit zines uses the joke format, i.e. setup–>punchline. Sometimes this format works but usually it just comes across as silly. The better pieces tend to encapsulate a single moment that hints at larger ideas/situations/metaphors. What is left unsaid, the negative space of micro-fiction, is where the form really shines.
via The New Yorker:
What Can You Do in Twenty-Five Words?
Posted by Ian Crouch
A couple of handy book rules normally hold true. Avoid gimmick books—holiday anthologies, blog-to-print money grabs, any deep dive into a flaky food subject like the kumquat or the persimmon. And, most of the time, avoid books that fit into your back pocket—slight often means slight. “Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer,” edited by Robert Swartwood, is on the wrong side of both of these rules, yet it’s an interesting, often thrilling collection, not because it rewards our shrinking attention spans, but because the best of these stories transcend the gimmick and are complete, elegant moments of fiction.