Microfiction

A Collection of Stories

Microfiction is the method of writing stories in 50 words or less.  I have recently taken on the task of writing microfiction in 280 characters.  For more stories following SamHArnold on twitter.

The Cafe

At cafe sat a timid woman. She kept looking at her watch as if she didn’t quite believe the time. When anyone walked in she looked up. The blow was fleeting on her face. When he came in, she looked up smiled and left. 

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The Face

They walked sideways like crabs as they looked into each other’s eyes. As they sat down they kissed, others turned away.  She saw the face at the window and turned pale. With that, she got up and left. He started to cry big silent tears.

The Ticket

Jack looked at the winning lottery ticket in his hand. He thought about what this meant. He thought about his girlfriend. The wind ruffled the ticket. He screwed it up and threw it away. No jackpot was worth that much trouble.  

The Holiday

The holiday went fast with Tom’s new girlfriend. So did the money. After the holiday the million pound inheritance had vanished. So for that matter had Tom’s beautiful new girlfriend and his oldest school friend. 

The Event

As the dust settled Jim looked down at the mess he had made. He stood there staring, thinking through all the options that were now open to him. Dad would make him rich he smiled. He just had to work out where to bury his body. 

The Gamble

The anxiety grew on Sara’s face as she rolled the last dice. This was it everything she had been working towards came down to this one last gamble. Taking a deep breath she let the dice go. Well done Mum Tom said you have won Yahtzee. 

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Discovering Microfiction

What it is? Can I write it?

Microfiction is something I discovered early in my Medium journey. Something I wanted to write but didn’t know whether I could. 

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At cafe sat a timid woman. She kept looking at her watch as if she didn’t quite believe the time. When anyone walked in she looked up. The blow was fleeting on her face. When he came in, she looked up smiled and left. – SamHArnold

What is microfiction?

Microfiction is the art of writing a story in as few words as possible. Most short stories are between 1000 and 2000 words. Microfiction tends to be a story with a much smaller word count. Sometimes as low as 50 words. I have set myself the challenge of writing microfiction in 280 characters or lower. To work in conjunction with Twitter. 

The History of Microfiction 

Originally called flash fiction.  Word counts then decreased further and guidelines grew tighter.  Microfiction was created. It is now a well established in literature.

They walked sideways like crabs as they looked into each other’s eyes. As they sat down they kissed, others turned away. She saw the face at the window and turned pale. With that, she got up and left. He started to cry big silent tears. – SamHArnold

Structure of Microfiction

Microfiction is written the same as any fiction it has a start and middle and an end. Characters need to be attractive to the reader. It is best to keep the characters name as short as possible to save on character count. Authors of microfiction must be strict in their writing. Every single word has to have a purpose. Where possible only one word is used to explore or describe something.

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Journey into Microfiction

If you have an interest in fiction I implore you to try writing microfiction. It will help condense your writing skills. It will make you a better writer. For my journey, I have published a series of microfiction stories on Medium. Daily at 5 pm (UK time).  I am publishing a microfiction story on twitter. Follow me at @samharnold

Jack looked at the winning lottery ticket in his hand. He thought about what this meant. He thought about his girlfriend. The wind ruffled the ticket. He screwed it up and threw it away. No jackpot was worth that much trouble. – SamHArnold

How to Play The Reading, Writing Ratio Game

Getting the ratio between reading and writing right.

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“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.” 

― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

In order for you to write effective, it is important you read. Not only reading technical books on sentence structure but fictional books as well. It’s essential you read novels connected to the genre for the novel you plan to write. Don’t just read the story. Look at the author’s use of dialogue, how they build suspense and how they weave their story.  

As your writing increases, you may discover your reading decreases. If you use reading for relaxation you can imagine how this will have an effect on your mood.

Write Don’t Read

Whether this is writing a review of a novel or connecting on Medium the technique is the same. Many popular writers on medium suggest connecting with other writers through comments. This is a method of increasing your followers. Comment on the work of others but, only when you think you have something to offer. Do not spend your time commenting for the sake of commenting. Commenting will increase your followers but not as quickly as quality writing will. As with any professional relationship, it is important to get this ratio right.

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Read Don’t Write

Many medium authors suggest daily publishing. If this is a ratio you cannot manage then it is best to set yourself a target you can achieve. How many articles can you publish whilst still leaving yourself enough time to read.

Personally, I decided on a publishing schedule of twice a week. Daily publishing was something I could not achieve with a full-time job and a newborn.

Daily publishing will grow your followers.  Twice a week publishing has also grown my followers at a slower rate. It is a rate I am happy with enabling me to establish a ratio I am happy with. A schedule that works for you is as essential as quality writing. With a twice-weekly publishing schedule, there is time to read for pleasure. You may even have time for pleasure writing such as journalling if that’s your thing.

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You Know Best

Read all the articles for the advice you can find.   The key to becoming a top writer is to find a schedule and method that works for you. Only you know the other pressures on your time. Only you know how much reading is essential to maintain your equilibrium. Only you know how quick you can produce a post. Only you know what your publishing schedule should be.

Be your own writer and enjoy.

Medium

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My journey has started progressing at lightning speed now. So I felt it was time to update you all. So my writing has increased. I have finally found a pattern and schedule I am happy with. Writing has become part of everyday life. I am addicted to it like athletes are to the gym.

I have also discovered a lovely social site called Medium. Medium is a supportive platform for writers and readers. Articles publish and gain claps (similar to likes) and comments. Never have I been trolled or abused on this site. All feedback has been supportive and constructive. With the help of Medium, my writing has increased. I have a modest follower count of 133. I have also been asked to write for 2 publications. Which is an excellent way to increase traffic to your portfolio. The site has helped me develop my writing skills and gain confidence in my ability.

In addition to my increased blog posting my novel is also progressing well. I am in the final editing stage of my 20 000 word children’s novel. I aim to send this to the publisher before the end of April.

To all those reading this post and struggling with their own writing, take heart. Six months ago I was disheartened and progressing nowhere. I stuck my head down and gave writing one final big push. My efforts have been rewarded.

If I can do it, so can you.