Suspend Your Disbelief

Shop Talk |

is short the new black?

twitter_logo_headerFlash fiction is rising in prominence both online and in print. (For an introduction to the form, see Sophie Powell’s review of The Field Guide to Flash Fiction.) Then came the six-word story trend. And now there’s 7×20, a Twitter-zine publishing short stories and fiction of 140 characters or less.

In fact, 7×20 is just one of several Twitter-based short-story outlets. Mediabistro notes that such sites have been springing up everywhere. Some, like Nanoism, even pay. Here are four complete stories:

She shows him her wedding ring and he just shrugs. I would be more interested in you if my ring bothered you, she says. I never win, he says. (from Arjun Basu)

The warring world below my capsule fell into nucleur death. For ten months, I sought the courage to die. Then, I heard a knock at my door. (from Thaumatrope, a sci-fi/fantasy/horror Twitter-zine)

The tiny larynx implant was perfect, the speech therapist exhausted. The squirrel’s pent up diatribes poured forth in marathon chatterings. (from 7×20)

Sunday morning includes a laptop, reruns, and naked breasts covered with chip crumbs instead of your lips. You snore through opportunity. (from Nanoism)

What say you, fiction writers: can a satisfying short story be told in one tweet? Is this extreme concision a good exercise in cutting to the heart of a story, or is 140 characters simply too short to be complete?

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