05 June 2005
Some Notes Towards a Theory of the Short Short Story
Get to the point. Don't spend a lot of time on descriptions. Use distinctive names. Avoid excessive planning. Remember the basic plot skeleton: a character with a problem must attempt to solve the problem. Seek distinctive endings. Look for imagery. Keep notes for possible future stories. Pay attention to the life around you. Recall Muriel Rukeyser's words: The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. Pretend your audience is invisible. Seek the essence. Background becomes figure. Dialog sings. Don't ignore your subconscious. Embrace the freedom that limited markets bring. Self censorship can be fruitful. Form will usually follow function.