Flash Fiction, Main Genre: General, posts

Micro-Stories: What are They, Really?

Lately, micro-fiction has become more popular — of course, like anything else, it can be an art form. I decided to embark on a monthly quest to do two-sentence stories, but first, let’s ponder micro-fiction in general.

Sometimes, what is labeled as “micro-fiction” is more of a quote or a statement than an actual story.

Examples: Micro-Stories or Not?

Take the following examples, which are based on the same idea.

“The key to happiness lies in your own hands.” This is more of a motivational quote or statement. It’s basically stating a belief or a fact.

However, is this a micro-story? Micro-stories obviously go by different standards than regular stories, which by definition, generally have a beginning, middle and end —even if those are all just inferred.

With a micro-story, a lot of it is inferred, since the story is so incredibly short. A micro-story then should at least suggest a beginning and end — or a middle, if the micro-tale happens to begin more at the start or wrap-up.

A very simple way of turning this into a micro-story would be to turn it into dialog:

The wise owl uttered his words slowly: “The key to happiness lies in your own hands.” The owlets’ eyes got even wider, as they listened eagerly.

Or alternatively:

He knew the keys to happiness were in his own hands — but in all those years, he had not unlocked the right door.

In the above example, there is a lot inferred about the character’s past. He had not found happiness, obviously. Had he tried different doors? Did the keys “seem” to fit, but he found he was wrong about what he ultimately found? Would he eventually the right door to open?

The last two examples fall into the micro-fiction category easily, as they include characters and/or suggest a story timeline of some sort.

That brings up the phenomenon of the really short stories that are popping up these days: the two-sentence tales. Looks like it’s time to try some…coming soon!

Related to “Micro.”

 

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Life Stuff, Main Genre: General, Philosophizing, posts, Reality, Wisdom

What’s in a Name: Let’s Call Ranters Something Other Than “Karen”

Microstory: "But my name really is Karen," she thought.

How would we like it if our names were suddenly used as an insult? A better label for the tirading, self-entitled “ranters without a reason” would be “idiots” or “buttheads” — not a fairly popular name that’s donned on people at their birth.

The question “what’s in a name?” shouldn’t have a negative connotation — especially for such a common name as Karen.

Before going any further, a couple of disclaimers:

1. Although I write under a pen name, no, my real name is not Karen (and neither is anyone’s in my family).

2. I do not at all condone these ranters’ behaviors — in fact, I have had the unfortunate experience of being approached by one of them. Apparently, she believed that someone walking through a senior complex who wasn’t “of age” (as she put it) must have been doing something wrong (though people bring their parents things or come to visit all the time). I was detained by this ranter for probably 20 minutes. And this person wasn’t at a stage where it was dementia, either — it was ranting, plain and simple.

But I digress.

I truly hate this topic — but at the same time, in an era when we’re trying to be more aware of our actions, it doesn’t make any sense to use an actual common given birth name as an insult.

We need to be more careful about the labels we use.

And as the simple, yet kind, Forest Gump once said…
“That’s all I have to say about that.”

 

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Microstory: "But my name really is Karen," she thought.