Very Short Stories

WILDSound conducts a number of writing contests, one of which is a Twitter Very Short Story Festival. Writers don’t actually have to tweet their posts, but stories must comply with the medium’s 140 character limit. Winning contributions for their June contest have just been posted, and each work will be used in an audio performance produced by WILDSound.

The character limitation tempts the writer to focus on a solitary action, emotion, or image, and almost entirely precludes dialogue; many of the stories from June read like haikus (Nothing wrong with that — haiku is a wonderful art. But these are stories!). The most effective works are those where the writer takes a couple-few ideas and has them play off the others, such as Darian Young’s “Latte Art”:

“You are a mosaic of the people you meet,” the woman said as she sipped the coffee that swirled with the faces of everyone she’d ever seen.

By the end of this vignette, the woman seems disturbed, almost haunted by the observation she’s made at the beginning.

Another work, “Moon Talk” by George Masters, uses a celestial image to suggest the narrator’s pensive mood:

A boated, varicose moon hung over the city. I watched it and listened as it told me my future.

It’s an intriguing competition, made more appealing by the prospect of audible performances. This could be an opportunity to focus on key moments in my fiction.

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