5 New short story formats exploding on the web

Image credit: 

As you recall, we've started a new feature on this blog called No Small Tales. The idea is to publish one short story a month by and up-and-coming author. In case you missed it, our first installment can be found here, with a second coming next week.

You won't see many stories with more than 3,000 words on No Small Tales, or with fewer than 1,000. We just feel that's a nice length for the average short story. But as you can imagine, there are entire Web sites devoted to other short story formats, which, it turns out, have pretty cool names and ideologies.

1. Flash Fiction

As the name perhaps implies, these stories are short, easily read in one sitting. They're generally between 250 and 1,000 words; though I've seen some sites offer slightly longer selections and still call them flash fiction (though they'll often refer to the slightly longer versions as sudden fiction.)

Here are a few sites that keep the offerings to fewer than 1,000 words:

FlashFictionOnline.com

EveryDayFiction.com has no minimum word count, but 1,000 max

365Tomorrows.com These guys are mainly publishing science flash fiction, with a 600 word max

2. Drabble

Even shorter than flash fiction, a drabble tries to tell a story in exactly 100 words, with a proper beginning, middle, and end. Here are a couple good sites worth checking out:

100Words.com, is an offshoot of the original drabble site, 100words.net started by Jeff Koyen and Roy Batchelor.

Flashshot sticks mostly to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and mystery genres. Unlike 100words, these stories can be fewer than 100 words, so long as they don't go over.

3. Nano/micro fiction

Slightly longer than the drabble, but shorter than flash fiction, we have nano fiction, sometimes called micro fiction, usually weighing in at about 500 words.

A good site for nano fiction is, surprise, surprise, NanoFiction.org. They publish stories of no more than 300 words.

Also check out Rumble.sy2.com.

For those interested in horror, there's MicroHorror.com, which humorously bends the limit up to 666 words.

4. The 55er

A form of nano/flash fiction, the 55er contains only 55 words, as the name implies. Some Web sites limit the content and form a little more.

For some examples of the 55er, check out 55Fiction.com and 55-fiction.org.

5. One sentence stories

This genre is pretty self-explanatory. OneSentence.org tends to do non-fiction, but for some real short authentic one sentence fiction, check out OnlineFlashFiction.com.

More from mental_floss...

February 5, 2009 - 5:30am
submit to reddit