Earlier this year, I relaunched my newsletter for writers and other creative folks, The Broome Cupboard. Every week, I send an email to 400-odd people, sharing interesting links and goodies that I’ve found on my internet travels. I also include an original microstory.
Almost every good idea I’ve ever had has started as a few words in a notebook or text file. Maybe a silly phrase. An overheard conversation. Whatever.
Rather than keep these tiny fragments of fiction to myself, I’ve decided to share them.
I have just three rules.
- Don’t overthink.
- Don’t overedit.
- Use one page only.
Those rules are in place because I want to focus on a) writing and publishing quickly, and b) holding on to whatever germ of an idea first entered my head.
This sort of thing is nothing new, of course. There are three artists/authors whose (very) short fiction I’m rather partial to.
- Lydia Davis, who writes stunning vignettes
- Austin Kleon, who makes blackout poetry
- Rob Ryan, who combines words and art beautifully
I highly recommend you explore their work and even more so, if you’re a maker-person of any kind, have a go at creating microstores of your own. The constraints make it challenging, but they also force you to focus on the power of saying very little.
As always, it’s all about what you leave out.
Share your stuff
If you write or make (microstories can take many forms) your own short fiction, let me know on Twitter. I’d love to take a look.