Microfiction, or flash fiction, is the haiku of the prose world: extremely short fiction, often written to a strict word or even character count, and achieving a certain elegance as a result. The best are rather like cartoon captions where the readers themselves supply the cartoon. Though hardly a new phenomenon, it’s become particularly popular online in forums such as Facebook and Twitter, where available space is strictly limited.
Accepting unnecessary constraints on writing often enables creativity to blossom in unexpected directions, and I've found microfiction an interesting discipline to work to. Twitter in particular seems to encourage flash fiction with its 140-character word count – the strictest form of Twitter fiction being that which fits this count precisely with no characters left to spare. (It’s possible to fudge this a bit with the punctuation, of course.) An even stricter form – pioneered by Ernest Hemingway, though not of course on social networking sites – is the six-word story.
I maintain a Twitter account called trapphic, mainly for 140-character microfiction with the occasional six-word story thrown in. The better stories as of
For the latest from trapphic, see the feed to the left (or look here if you’re on Twitter yourself).
SERIES AND TITLED STORIES
- ‘Homo Arcanum: A Posthuman Tarot’
- The Victoriana Kaiju Sequence
- The Exotic Weapons Dealer
- A Mothers’ Day Triptych
- The Ias’par Diptych
- ‘Is There No Truth, No Beauty? A Quarkic Romance’
- Alternative History
- Metafiction and Barefaced Theft
- Slipstream and Miscellany
- Spacetime Operetta
- Six-Word Stories
www.infinitarian.com created and maintained by Philip Purser-Hallard.
trapphic icon extracted from Sapphire and Steel logo © and ™ Associated TeleVision 1979. No infringement is intended.
All material © Philip Purser-Hallard 2009-12 except where otherwise noted, and not to be used without permission.