A few weeks ago, I posted a link from NPR's website on the ol' facebook page. The link was a transcript of a program they aired on Weekend Edition, where they interviewed Robert Swartwood, on what he calls "hint fiction." Swartwood has just compiled an anthology called Hint Fiction; An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer. It's a genre of fiction, inspired by the six-word novel apocryphally attributed to Earnest Hemingway, which reads: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn." This kind of story is great for creative writers looking for a challenge, because although this fictional genre is characterized by its extreme brevity, it takes some real creative ingenuity to construct a complete story out of such a small string of words. Swartwood says, "The stories are extremely short, and yet, they feel whole. A lot of these stories could be expanded into longer stories, but as they are, they're complete — which is the challenge and the beauty of the form."
A few examples from the book:
"Through Tiny Windows" by Barry Napier
When they opened the cadaver, they found a house. A couple argued inside. There was rhythm to their words, like the beating of a heart.
"Jermain's Postscript To His Seventh-Grade Poem Assignment." by Christoffer Molnar
"Cull." by L.R. Bonehill
There had been rumors from the North for months. None of us believed it, until one night we started to kill our children too.