EmpyrealInvective Jun 7th, 2015 255 Never
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  1. ==What is a Micropasta?==
  3. A micropasta is a short story ranging from one sentence to a few paragraphs that manages to tell a story effectively despite its limitations. So why is it necessary to make a section of guidelines/tips on how to effectively tell flash fiction? I’m doing this because as of late, we have gotten a number of short stories that were deleted for not being up to [[quality standards]]. Much like poetry, writing a short story seems deceptively easy when in fact it is not and has its own challenges.
  5. ==Why is a micropasta so damn hard to write?==
  7. Speaking from [[EmpyrealInvective’s Collection of Short Stories|experience]], writing a short story is difficult. This section will highlight a few things that are important for writing a good micropasta.
  9. *It is effectively told, sets up the story, and has a satisfying resolution.
  11. Here is an example: “The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.” Those two sentences are all that that story needs. The first one sets up the premise and the second sentence delivers the climax/resolution. You can take that story and flesh out the premise (as I did with [[Post-Apocalyptic Solitude]]) or it can be left as it is and still tell an entertaining story.
  13. What you should avoid in regards to this. The short story should not come off like a premise. Here is an example of a story that needs work: “I saw a monster in the woods today. It attacked me and I died.” Much like the aforementioned story, has a plot and a climax, but what separates them is efficacy. [[Knock]] can be left as it is, or it can be fleshed out and still tell a complete story. “Forrest Monster” (Copyright) ‘’’needs’’’ to be fleshed out as it feels incomplete/unfinished without detail.
  15. *It uses its limited space to its advantage to make readers fill out the back-story.
  17. It tells a story and lets the readers fill in the blanks. I’ll use an example of flash fiction to highlight this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” That story is commonly attributed to Ernest Hemingway, but the original source is unknown. The readers are left to infer what had happened and their ‘filling-in-the-blanks’ causes it to stick with them.
  19. An example on what to avoid: “I heard noises outside; they stopped.” The audience can create their own story from that as well, but it is too vague. The noises could be attributed to anything and the story sets no tone for what direction it is going in. It could be a cat; it could be a stalker. There’s not enough to go on there and the plot suffers as a result.
  21. *It has been proof-read and has no large story issues.
  23. I’m not going to go too in-depth with this one as it’s fairly obvious. With longer stories, quality checkers are more likely to cut authors a break, as it’s possible that the issue just slipped by when they were re-reading it due to it being a couple of pages long. It’s harder to get behind that sentiment when the story is a page or less. For example, when a story is two sentences long and has five issues in it, it really comes off that the author put zero effort into the story and didn’t bother to check it.
  25. ==Tips on writing a good micropasta==
  26. *Take it to the [ writer’s workshop]. What you feel is a great micro-story might be viewed by others as clichéd or ineffective. Getting feedback will let you re-shape it before putting it on the main site and having it be deleted for story/grammatical issues.
  28. *After writing it, wait a day or two and come back to it. Avoid posting it immediately after writing it. When I was working on my short story collection, I thought this one was a gem:
  30. “I whimpered in the dark, “I am finally alone.” The voice responded from the darkness, “At last we’re finally alone.””
  32. That story is pretty cliché and I’m fairly certain there is another story exactly like it out there, but when I wrote it, I thought it was amazing and ‘’original’’. I could attribute it to the rush of having written a story or me pretentiously patting myself on the back, but the fact still stays the same. After waiting a while and coming back to it, I saw the issues and thankfully pulled it before I submitted it.
  34. *Read other micropastas to get examples on how to effectively create one. [ Here] is a link to shorter stories on this site. While it may take some time to sift through the copyright notices and the poems, you’ll find we have some great micropastas. Here are a few to get you started.
  36. # [[A Blind Man’s Favor]]
  37. # [[Mother’s Call]]
  38. # [[Rocking Motion]]
  39. # [[The Man in the Snow]]
  40. # [[Sarah O’Bannon]]
  42. ==Summation==
  43. If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this long-winded guide, it’s that creating a good micropasta takes a lot more work than one would originally think. It isn’t something you should be able to type out in fifteen minutes and post. Like all stories, you should take time on it and put thought into it. If you don’t, it’ll show.
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