Can a story really be written in just 55 words? Some will tell you that Nano Fiction (sometimes written as Nanofiction) is a short short story that is less than 300 words in length. Others will say 100 words; I like the idea of 55.
As with most types of story, in nano fiction, there should be some form of structure. Flash fiction gives you enough words (up to 1,000) to potentially develop a storyline using the usual elements of having a protagonist, some form of conflict, the odd obstacles or complications, and a resolution.
With Nano fiction; you don’t have the space for any real development, so you need to write in the way where assumptions can be made. However you still need a setting, one or more characters, maybe a conflict, and where possible a resolution.
I also like the idea that nano fiction should give enough for people to be able to use their imagination to fill in the gaps. Ideally, there needs to be something there for the reader to build on, on their own. As David Gaffney points out in a newspaper article; when he was talking about the last line of text in a piece of flash fiction:
It should not complete the story but rather take us into a new place; a place where we can continue to think about the ideas in the story and wonder what it all meant.
Before I go any further I think I need to say that I’m new to this game; my first ever piece of nano fiction is “The Gale”, and it is only 50 words in length; so I guess that makes it dribble. With “The Gale” I think I have added all the elements needed to make a functional piece of nano fiction. OK; it isn’t great, BUT it is my first attempt.
The setting of “The Gale” is the caravan; there are two characters; a bit of conflict and for them an agreeable resolution. In a way, it also has lots of unanswered questions. What are they doing in the caravan? Holiday? Living? What was he planning to do when she stopped him? What were they doing at the end?
The small two berth touring Caravan shook as the gale raged outside. Inside the couple cuddled to stay warm.
“Stop,” she snapped; slapping his hand as it slowly moved up her thigh.
The wind gradually died turning into nothing more than a breeze; the Caravan rocked again.
Now she was whispering “Don’t stop…”
By using your imagination, you could feel the story in numerous ways. As for any other ones I write; hopefully, you will further use your imagination; or at least enjoy them.
The Drowning: Version 1
The water darkened as the thrashing of bodies displaced mud. “Help!” He screamed. “He’s drowning.”
In the distance, the flashing blue lights were getting ever closer. Still, the men struggled.
The cars skidded to a halt; their lights still on. They arrived in time to pull the help-seeking psychopath off his victim.
The Downing: Drabble Version
The water darkened as the ponds ordinarily sedate sediment was dispersed by the thrashing of John and Peters bodies.
From out of the chaos John screamed. “Help! He’s drowning.”
In the distance flashing blue lights continued their disappearing act before reappearing as another undulation; a standard feature of the moors; impeded their speed. The emergency services were getting ever closer. Still, the men struggled.
Police cars skidded to a halt; lights still on. DCI Rivers and his team arrived in time to pull John the escaped help-seeking psychopath off his victim.
More to follow…