54 Word Stories
May 10, 2003 1:52 PM   Subscribe

54 Word Stories.
posted by plep (9 comments total)
There Is Crap On the Internet

“There is crap on the internet,” she said, “and then there is crap on the internet.” I nodded. She was like that. Always driving me crazy when all I wanted was be driven crazy. “This post is stupid,” she said. I sighed, defeated, and squinted at the sun.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:23 PM on May 10, 2003

Cold Kingdom Enterprise

by Richard Brautigan

  Once upon a time there was a dwarf knight who only had fifty words to live in and they were so fleeting that he only had time to put on a suit of armor and ride swiftly on a black horse into a very well-lit woods where he vanished forever.

from The Tokyo-Montana Express
posted by Shane at 2:35 PM on May 10, 2003

Cool link, plep. I've actually always liked that genre (which was, for a while, back in the day known as a "short short" or "microfiction" in the lit-journal circuit before it seemed to fall out of vogue. Amy Hempel used to be a master of the format). I think any great narrative can potentially be distilled, sometimes severely, and still preserve its meaning & purpose. A lot of the pieces at 54 Word Stories were not great, but if nothing else the format provides a healthy writing exercise.

See also: StoryBytes, Magazine Minima and the Anthology of Sudden Fiction.
posted by dhoyt at 2:52 PM on May 10, 2003

I like these a lot. There is no loss of meaning in their succinctness, but a compounding of meaning. And also they are great for people with short attentions spans. Like me.
posted by mokey at 4:14 PM on May 10, 2003

That background makes the stories hard to read...I wish people wouldn't do that.
posted by republican at 4:27 PM on May 10, 2003

Those are some interesting links, dhoyt, but my guess is that they're simply trying to go one better on the 55 Fiction Contest. Check out the winners' pages there for more microfiction fun.
posted by Fourmyle at 1:59 AM on May 11, 2003

A collection of nanofiction.
posted by plep at 4:35 AM on May 11, 2003

Of course, there's the always-venerable eighteen-word story.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 1:11 PM on May 11, 2003

It's not exactly 54 word stories, but this mag is all about short fiction.

Also, this reminds me of Hemingway's famous example of how short a story can be:

For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.
posted by mdn at 1:40 PM on May 11, 2003

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