Thursday, August 26, 2010

Short-short Stories

By Nichole Giles

One of my favorite things about writing is being able to tell a story. My husband was on Facebook the other day, and someone had updated her status. In four short lines, she’d told an entire hilarious story that went something like this:

Short-short story: Raging headache. Found two baby Asprin, I thought, washed them down with four-shot latte. Turns out they were maximum strength Dulcolax. Unhappy ending.

I laughed out loud because in those short sentences, I could vividly picture this woman’s whole, miserable day. What a great story. People tell stories like this regularly, even if they’re not quite so succinct.

Consider Twitter users. Each update must be 140 characters or less—including punctuation and spaces. Here’s my update from last weekend:

Got confirmation, my copies of Mockingjay have been shipped. Also, discovered Red Vines now come in grape flavor #itsagoodday #yumgrape.

Is that really a story? What about this tweet courtesy of author Daron Fraley?

Fun-size candybars are a LIE.

Think about something that’s happened to you today. Can you tell the story in four lines or less? 140 characters or less? 10 words or less? I’d love to see your attempt. Do share!


Evelyn Campbell Curtis said...

I think this goes to show, that simplicity is best. I know I tend to get a little wordy, and when I first started writing, I would find the most complicated ways of writing something.

Daron D. Fraley said...

@nicholegiles thinks my chocolate habit is funny. But I'm not offended. Cuz she gave me Lindor at my book launch. I'll never forget. Never.

Jolene said...

Woke up. Forget to eat. Grouchy.

Chas Hathaway said...

True story:

I found a plastic ninja turtle head on the street this morning. When I got inside I rinsed it off - then accidentally dropped it down the drain. Goodbye, ninja turtle head friend, I hope you're happy returning to your sewer home.


kbrebes said...

Went for walk; heel hurt. Changed direction; found porn pics in school bush (Trashed 'em). Heel healed; continued walk. Scared of dead Chumash Indians (I'm writing about). Won't leave me alone!

I actually stopped writing about the Chumash because they really were starting to freak me out. This, and other instances, happened about a year ago.

Nice post, Nichole.