A while a go I read a blog article by the author Max Barry talking about how the The New Yorker had published one of his short stories in it’s entirety with out requesting his permission basically breaking copyright law – the blog entry by Max can be found here. The thing is the story that has been mentioned is only 25 words long so as Max points out – you are legally allowed to include 10 percent, but nothing more so two and half words would be fine. It was the idea of these stories being 25 words long that really interested me.
This is a form of writing called Hint Fiction – it’s a style of writing where you write at most 25 words, and these are used to give a story in a way you may not expect. It’s part of a range of fiction that is shorter in length such as sudden fiction (limited to 1-5 pages), flash fiction (limited to 300-1000 words), micro fiction (limited to 150 words), drabble (100 words) , dribble (50 words); and I have found the examples of hint fiction provided utterly fascinating.
The New Yorker article that Max links too contains several additional (in his words) Copyright infringements – some of which are dark, some of which are random but they are all interesting ideas which give you a tiny snippet that hints at a much larger story and I admit that I find all of these fascinating – I think partially due to the mystery surrounding them the story that is hinted at, so I decided to give it a go to see how easy they were to be able to write. Below are some of my efforts for your consumption – I must say I enjoyed writing them as I enjoy leaving stories on a twist ending where nothing is quite what you’d expect it to be, and I found the brevity of the format a blessing as I find the longer something I try to write is, the more I tend to wander from it and never finish the story so these are little gems for me. It’s also been very interesting discussing them with Julie who sits next to me at work – normally I’ll write them thinking about one thing, she’ll read them and pick up another idea, then between us we’ll come up with a third possibility and so on and so on – it’s coming back to this idea of interpretation that of themes that I discussed my interest in with photos here looking at Dailyshoot.com.
Anyway enough waffle. Here’s the stories.
We were halfway on our way to the party when the sun set, turning the sea blood red. The screams started shortly after.
Harold was not like other children. But that’s to be expected given how his father is. However the real strangeness came from his mother’s side.
The old mans eyes held a deep story. He looked away as they welled with tears.
He was alone, except for the laughing faces he passed under the street lights.
She followed the line of roses down the path. Round the corner he waited, breathing shallowly. She was going to get a surprise.
The cake was huge, covered with pink icing. Nobody expected the red sauce to start flowing out when they cut it open, or that taste.