I've undertaken to write a book with 50 tales, one per page.

It is hard going, because the stories keep coming out too long. How can I "filter" the job, or extract short ideas and work?

  • I'm doing the same, a chapbook of 100-word stories. I don't understand your question, though. What do you mean by "history," "role," "job," etc? – Ken Mohnkern Jun 17 '16 at 13:40
  • I try to find short stories, that is the hard thing to me. I use to write long stories, with all the steps, so doesnt get hability to resume the facts. I'm looking for tricks to shorten the work without trash the scene. Thank you (and forgive my poor english). – Gabriel Acosta Jun 17 '16 at 17:28
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    Oh, I see. You're starting with long stories and trimming them to short ones? Yes, I imagine that's hard to do. Like I said in my answer, I'd start with an event and build it up from there. – Ken Mohnkern Jun 17 '16 at 18:40

I write a lot of tiny stories. There are no rules about what they can and can't do, but usually mine focus on a single moment. I include minimal descriptions and minimal dialog, when necessary. I usually write the event then add little bits of the surrounding story: why did it happen and what were the repercussions.

The best advice is probably to read a lot of them. Learn from other authors. Look for flash fiction and microfiction. Sherrie Flick and Lydia Davis write a lot of tiny stories and they do it very well.

  • Yeah, appreciate your answer. Theres's no rules, thats the principle. But, to this short stories, i'm tryin to find others. – Gabriel Acosta Jun 17 '16 at 17:13
  • The single moment is a good way, as a single feeling. I tried other experimentar so: write one of these stories just focusing in a description of a face. A dead man smile and what it means to the storyteller. I had to find an huge amount of adjectives and terms, it was hard, cause all the sense was converging to that face. I salute you for the names and genres suggested, i'm glad to see that i'm not alone. – Gabriel Acosta Jun 17 '16 at 17:30
  • Also check out The Cupboard, a tiny journal that specializes in tiny stories. – Ken Mohnkern Jun 17 '16 at 18:37

First, direct world building and character building goes out. "Show, don't tell" becomes your first commandment and you dive right into story progression, establishing the world, characters and mood as a side-effects of the plot. A man in a spacesuit, riding on a camel through a desert is worthy two pages of traditional worldbuilding. Give him scars, a plasma gun and foul language and you have another page of world- and character-building done.

Cut down on full originality of the setting. Using generics - common tropes, common settings, character archetypes, allows you to squeeze into 2 lines what otherwise would take half a page. Apply quirks and modifications as you like, to provide the necessary originality, but you have no room to establish something entirely new from scratch - you obtain the effect by mixing generics. Generic history elements help building it.

Example: Instead of establishing from scratch a tribal culture with own traditions, mystic rituals, thriving on bloodlust, and menacing the population with raids, have offspring of an order of monks exiled from their monastery two centuries ago, turned nomadic rogues, seeking revenge on descendants of their enemy but cultivating traditions and rituals of ancestors.

Drop enough hints, and the reader will be able to build the whole world without need to establish it verbatim. You have the story to tell, and everything else happens as effects of flavors in which you write that story.

  • Thanks man, the histories are going and i'm using it, i had especial difficulties on it – Gabriel Acosta Jul 20 '16 at 4:05

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