I recently read (and reviewed) Chronos: An Anthology of Time Drabbles and this was my first foray into the world of micro-fiction. I bought this collection to support a friend who is featured in the book and he told me his story was short, very short. So short, in fact, that it was less than 100 words!
I’ll admit, I wondered how a story could be told so quickly. The majority of authors in this collection impressed me, however! It’s amazing how the right combination of so few words can create a vast or detailed world. Since this was a new experience for me, I figured I’d share a few reasons for you to check out some micro-fiction!
+ It’s good to try something new – I’m going to make the assumption (yes, despite the warning) that, like me, you’ve probably read a few novellas and some short story collections. If you haven’t, that’s okay too! But I’d like to think that most readers out there have at least had exposure to short stories in school, if nowhere else. Whether you’re a fan of shorts or not (sometimes I love them, sometimes I don’t understand them and sometimes they leave me desperate for more and then subsequently pissed knowing there won’t be more) I challenge you to dip into something new! Given the word count, it’s not a huge investment of your time! (See also reason #3!)
+ They’re inspirational – Whether you’re a seasoned reader or not, how often have you thought about how a story can be told in 100 words or less? It was a new thought for me. You say micro-fiction and I’m thinking: how could you ever establish a world or characters in so few words? Yet, so many of the stories in the collection I read gave credit to the reader and allowed me to fill in the necessary details. At times, it made me feel like I was more a part of the story because I was contributing to the details. So many of these stories had me hooked after only a sentence or two. What voodoo is this!? Several were extremely thought-provoking too. There’s something to be said for getting right to the point with your fiction. Color me impressed! It made me want to challenge myself to see what I could accomplish with a restrained word count.
+ You’re short on time – I’m someone who uses almost all of my free time to read (and sometimes I even bail on social events to gain more reading time – shhh, don’t tell), but I realize not everyone functions this way. So, say you want to get in a quick dose of fiction, but you feel like you can’t even commit to a shorts collection. Micro-fiction is perfect! Each story is less than a page’s worth of reading – you can tackle as many or as few as you want in one sitting and never have to worry about abandoning the story before it’s finished.
I’m glad I branched out and tried something new – not only because I had the chance to support a friend, but because it made me remember there’s more to fiction than the traditional novel or short story. If the content can be vastly varied and creative, why not the format too? If you’re a sci-fi fan, I recommend grabbing a copy of Chronos, but even if that’s not your thing, I challenge you to seek out other micro-fiction!