They stopped listening when the truck hit us. From the back seat I’d been explaining Three- and Five-Act Structure.
The side door crumpled and I realised my mistake: this was Act Five of my story, not Act Two.
Maybe the Midpoint of the lorry driver’s arc, Point of No Return.
Tom O’Brien is an Irishman living in London. He’s been published in numerous places across the web and has short stories printed in Blood & Bourbon, Blink-Ink, and DEFY! Anthologies. His novella Straw Gods will be published by Reflex Press in 2020. He’s on Twitter at @tomwrote and his website is tomobrien.co.uk.
It’s a night just like a hundred others. The candle gutters gently as the Storykeeper takes a deep breath.
A hush of soft voices steals through the room, each ghost asking for their turn. She focuses on a high, young voice, and lets his story sweep her away.
Maria likes how she can squeeze microfiction into her hectic life. She’s amused to note that writing 50-word stories is making her drabbles seem too long.
Fifty words: the Swiss Cheese of storytelling.
Strategically placed holes actually hold it together. A dozen words to start a scene, fifteen to introduce a character or two. Then conflict and a hint of resolution with an open ending.
What happens next? What’s left out is what makes it work.
During the day, Gary Zenker creates marketing plans and ad copy. By night, he turns his attention to writing things people might actually WANT to read.
LaRoche leaned over the edge and gazed down on the street below.
There wasn’t even a single car.
That wasn’t unusual, because it was 1723. Louis XV had just attained his majority, and it wouldn’t be long before the Treaty of St. Petersburg was signed.
Then he jumped.
Then he landed.
Today’s fifty-word story was partially inspired by reading Les Miserables, which is a very description-heavy, context-heavy book. Lord of the Rings is another. I love them both.