Tall And True Short Reads
Three Minute Microfiction
Episode 16 (10 March 2021)
By its definition, the key to good microfiction is brevity. There is no time for plot and character development; every word must count. The writer plunges the reader into the story and wrenches them back out, leaving it to the reader’s imagination to reflect upon what they have read.
Three Minute Microfiction
Season One: Episode 16 (10 March 2021)
Read the microfiction from this podcast episode on the Tall And True website:
1. There’s No Need To Wake Up – https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/no-need-to-wake-up
2. And I didn’t even get convicted – https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/and-i-didn-t-even-get-convicted
3. We Need to Talk – https://www.tallandtrue.com.au/microfiction/we-need-to-talk
Podcast website: https://www.tallandtrueshortreads.com
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Buy Robert’s short story collections online:
• Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Fairhead/e/B086HZ36NM
• Rakuten Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/au/en/author/robert-fairhead
I discovered the microfiction genre when reviewing a collection for Writing NSW, Loopholes by Susan McCreery.
Wiktionary.org defines microfiction as “Fiction that has a significantly shorter than average length.” Synonyms include drabble, flash fiction, flashfic, short-short story, sudden fiction and even twitterature.
By its definition, brevity is the key to good microfiction. There is no time for plot and character development; every word must count. The writer plunges the reader into the story and wrenches them back out, leaving it to the reader’s imagination to reflect upon what they have read, what lead to the situation, and how it might resolve itself.
Microfiction will not be to every reader’s taste. Some may consider it a modern malaise, where our pace of life has become too fast to enjoy a leisurely read. Or Twitteresque, where US Presidential pronouncements are reduced to 280-character tweets.
And yet, microfiction is not as recent a form as some might imagine. Ernest Hemingway is said to have written a famous piece in response to a challenge to write a six-word novel: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
I wrote these three microfiction pieces at different times in my life. There Is No Need Wake Up was written for a local radio competition in 2000. The brief was to include the tagline, “There is no need to wake up”. As luck would have it, I have occasionally dreamed my footy team has won games that, in reality, they lost.
And I Didn’t Even Get Convicted was also written for a local radio competition in 2014. The story had to be 200 words or less and to end with the line, “And I didn’t even get convicted”. I received a nice thank you for my entry. But I didn’t even get selected as a winner.
The final short piece, We Need To Talk, was written for a competition run by Meanjin Quarterly to celebrate the introduction of 280-character Twitter in 2017. The rules were simple: tweet a 280-character story and include the hashtag #meanjin280. I didn’t win the competition. But I repurposed the piece for another microfiction competition run by the Australian Writers’ Centre in 2019, as We Need to Talk in 29 Words. And this was published on their blog.
I hope you enjoyed this dabble with microfiction. You can read these pieces and all my short stories, blog posts and other writing at TallAndTrue.com.
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Podcast Theme and Sound Effects
Royalty-free music from Pixabay.com: Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 15 in D major, Op. 28 ‘Pastorale’ – IV. Rondo. Allegro ma non-Troppo, performed by Karine Gilanyan.
- Sports fans cheering: https://freesound.org/people/FlatHill/sounds/324756/
- Siren: https://freesound.org/people/lluiset7/sounds/367442/
- Children playing: https://freesound.org/people/yacou/sounds/190894/
- News jingle: https://freesound.org/people/Tuben/sounds/272044/
- Heart monitor (beeping): https://freesound.org/people/iluminati_2705/sounds/536706/
- Respirator: https://freesound.org/people/dansotak/sounds/137709/
- Phone message notification: https://freesound.org/people/katjajansen1997/sounds/538006/
Podcast recorded in Sydney, Australia, on the land of the traditional custodians of the Eora Nation.
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