Sunday, October 24, 2010

In 55 Words

Have you ever read a 55-word story? Maybe you've read the famous 6-word story by Hemingway:

"For sale: Baby clothes, never used."

55-word fiction writing was initiated by Steve Moss, publisher of a weekly newspaper in California, who held a 55-word short story contest in 1987. Two collections of submissions to his contests were published. The challenge is to create a story with a setting, characters, conflict, and resolution in 55 words or less.

* The 55-word section of Bird and Moon unfortunately isn't being updated, but there are lots of old ones to enjoy.

* Game designer Andrew Looney, who is fond of writing 55-word stories, created a time-travel card game (Chrononauts) which includes 55-word character sketches.

* A lesson plan by Mr. Coia, using 55-word stories

A 55-word experiment of mine:

A New Sport

She dreamed of making roller skates with soccer balls for wheels. Such bounce, such height!

The stars were glittering above on the night she finished them. She put them on slowly, carefully. Would they work the way she imagined?

By the end of the block, she realized that she was in for a bumpy night.


Got one to share?


Ben Curran said...

I do like this idea a lot. I've read about similar ideas when researching "flash fiction" activities to use with my students. I'm going to be trying this for sure. Thanks!

M Pax said...

I enjoyed your story. The shortest I've gotten thus far is under 500. Maybe I'll work my way to 55 eventually.

Raven Airy said...

My 17 year old daughter is an aspiring fiction writer. I'm sure she'll be as pleased and inspired as I was to discover your blog.

Tabatha said...

Thank you, B.C. and M.!

Raven, glad to have you visit -- and best of luck to your daughter with her writing!