A while back I read a really cool post at tickld.com showing 20 Terrifying Two-Sentence Horror Stories That Will Keep You Up At Night.
It got me thinking…What a powerful concept. With two little sentences, you fill your reader with a sense of dread and uneasiness. And you know what’s the most interesting thing about it, it’s that those two sentences don’t really even tell the story; they cause the reader to tell the story to himself.
This concept could work with every genre and nearly every type of story you can come up with. Leave a couple of clues and see what type of story results from them.
I think that being able to tell a story with such few words is a great talent. That’s what writing is supposed to do after all–put thoughts in peoples’ heads and make them see things that aren’t necessarily in front of them.
It would be great writing exercise to practice telling these tiny tales, sometimes called Super Shorts or Micro Fiction, and really get good at them. It can help you learn how to make every letter count and plant the seeds of a story that can “tell itself” inside the reader’s mind.
And writers do this more often than you would think. There are even a few markets out there that publish this type of fiction directly to Twitter, which means keeping your story down to 140 characters or less.
So here is a challenge I have for you:
Pick a month and then commit to writing one of these short shorts every day. You could pick a work count limit, say 30-35, or a Twitter character limit of 140. Or just keep it simple and write exactly two sentences.
Give it a try and leave a comment if you come up with anything you’d like to share.