Sometimes we do not need many words to tell a story. And for some, it's even more interesting like that. If you are one of those, we want to tell you about micro stories, which are extremely short fiction stories that have 50 to 250 words maximum. But the most important thing is that they are not a summarized text, but, rather, the opposite. A micro story is the boiling point of a longer story. Its key is to narrate the most important part of the plot and leave to the reader the power to imagine what we do not say.
We will go in parts.
First, unlike a novel, micro-stories do not have a specific literary genre, but they play with several. Sometimes they tend to be more poetic, others more undefined. Here it is worth experimenting and playing with creativity. The more original we are, the better.
Second, although art is needed, at the same time it is necessary to be direct. In a novel we can afford to decorate sentences, play with words or use more descriptions, but not here. We have so few lines that you should go straight to the point, but at the same time do it with style and good writing. Each word is important. A good micro story is one in which the reader realizes that the writer is good. You do not need to read more.
Third, do not tell everything. Here it is not necessary to write everything that happens in the story, not even the whole climax. Forget about the introduction, the knot, and the outcome, and only focus on the main action. What could you tell the reader to create an image in his head and at the same time leave him with a desire to continue reading?
Fourth, be concrete. Look for synonyms, simplicity but uncertainty, precision but sonority. Let each word evoke exactly what you want to convey. Do not use any characters or places, focus on a scene, a fact, or in two characters, which make the reader understand the essentials of your story.
Fifth, you must catch the reader. Therefore, the image created in his/her head is one of the fundamental points. The narrative must be so strong that it builds an imaginary scene in the reader's head.
Sixth, the end is the best. This must be so imposing that it forces the reader to keep thinking about it and to put his imagination at stake. You can play with ending a question that intrigues the reader, or with a phrase that unexpected.
Then, one morning, she started putting a milligram of polonium in his coffee. -The Snoring
Seventh, give it a mystery. Play with punctuation marks and silences. These also speak, and even more so in a micro-story, in which magic is in what you do not say.
Eighth, use the structure you want. Some, what they do is start intriguing the reader and then take it to action, which then triggers in a final or unexpected turn.
Ninth, the title is transcendental. As the micro story is so short, the title also brings information, light, and creativity to your text. Use it as part of what you want to convey.
And tenth, edit, edit and edit. It seems that writing a short text is very simple, but sometimes it is even more complicated since you must be as precise as creative. Do not worry if it does not come out the first time and if cutting out words seems like a pain in the neck because as you write more, you will get better. At the end of the day, with the immediacy of the digital age and that people read less, micro-stories have become "few words for great stories".
With this, we want to tell you that in Inkspired we are about to launch a new format with Micro-stories and you can be part of it. :) All you have to do is send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with all the micro stories you have written. They should have maximum 500 characters or 250 words; a title; your name; your Inkspired user; and 3 hashtags that identify it. They can be in any language, the more, the better! We hope to read you soon.
The variations that you can generate in your timeline can enrich the reading and create an expectation in the reader. Maybe you already know many of these or maybe you have applied them before intuitively. Anyway, it will not hurt a little review.
Analepsis is a variation in which we return to an earlier point in our history that has already been overcome, it can be a memory or a way of revealing something that had not been said before, it can even be the same fact -already overcome by the protagonist- but seen from another perspective. This is a method in which we can solve many doubts and create many others.
Have you ever heard "a good story begins at the end"? this is what the prolepsis refers to. You reveal a fact that has not yet happened in your timeline and you hook the reader to the question: How did this happen? Do not exaggerate, if your advancement is too revealing, you may simply ruin the surprise.
The ellipsis, on the other hand, is a leap in time, why describe the tedious and boring years in the institute if nothing interesting happened in them? Thanks to the magic of literature, we can take the character from childhood to adulthood, without getting into adolescence. The interval doesn't have to be so long, in fact, this is one of the most used resources taking into account the classic "the next morning". We simply omit unimportant details and turn the page. It also serves to hide information that can cause intrigue, for example, we end a chapter with a "-we have to talk" and we start the next one with "the next morning".
Now if you want to skip everything that happened in a day, a year, a hundred years or more, without omitting important facts then do a summary. With the summary, you can compress everything that is very long to tell, the war of 2000 years ago, the routine of the day, as you lost all afternoon in Inkspired. It is a little-detailed way of summarizing the reader something tedious.
With the silepsis or acronía your timeline will move a bit, it is about telling a story from two timelines at different times. That is, it does not refer exactly to narrating two different stories in the same writing, but the reader has to see how those two temporal lines are connected throughout the story. Fairly suitable for a time travel story, don't you think?
Finally, the uchronía, the greatest illusion of literature, is the classic "what would have happened if...?" Well, this is not so easy in a fictional world. First, it is necessary that the Reader knows where he is and everything about the story, just then you can tell what would have happened if things had been different. It is easier to write it from our own reality, for example: What would the world be like if the Nazis had won? So we could easily have a dystopia today.
Now you can give yourself the task of making some variations on your timeline or even staging stories as a writing exercise to handle them perfectly. Take advantage of it.
He invites you to his mind To his emotions. To his past and to what he longs for the future. He shows you his weak side, but also his strengths. He reveals his secrets, and at the same time, what he hides. Then you fall in love with his personality and his way of empathizing with you. You are interested in him and what he is about to experience. You don't really know how he looks, but that makes him even more attractive because your imagination flows. You know that for you he will be someone special, because even though is far away, sometimes even far from the reality, the details will make you feel close to him: The tone of his voice. The color of his hair. The shape of his face. The way he thinks. And at the same time, his behavior, his values, his psychology, but above all, his story. And that's when you realize the importance of the characters in a novel, especially a protagonist.
In a novel, whether fiction or not, the characters you use are crucial. Without characters, there is no story, and there is no more to say. These people come alive through words and they become your friends, or enemies, especially the protagonist and antagonist. Therefore, if you decide to publish a fiction story, you must know how to create them wisely.
But, how? This usually depends on the author and the kind of novel he writes: real or fiction if it is the first one, it will be easier to identify characters, because they are already created, but if it is the second one, everything has to come from your author's mind.
Once the theme is defined, you should ask about whom the story is about. And when you have identified at least the most important one, the next step is to build your story. Who is this person? What is his or her name? How old is he? Where does he live? How does he look like? What are his life's goals? How is his past? What are his talents and his strengths? What are his weaknesses and his fears? If you are one of those who draws, then draw him. It helps.
It is important to know everything about your character as if it is your closest friend. You must know his intentions, his mind, and his heart. Because only then you can transmit the same to the reader. It is not necessary that you write EVERYTHING about him in your story, there are things that surely you will not even tell, but having created them and written them for you before, will support you to describe your character effectively and you will give him his own personality.
Once you have defined your protagonist's story and his surroundings, you have to introduce him to the story. You have to create his actions, his way of responding to conflicts, his feelings. The more descriptive you are with this, the more you will get readers to empathize with him. Your job is for them to know him and feel him as if they were seeing someone real by his side. Be creative.
Another fundamental aspect is your character's arc, which happens when he goes through a personal transformation during the novel or he grows in a certain sense. For example, he starts being one way and ends being another. This makes the story even more enriching and interesting. If your character is flat and boring, your readers will also feel flat and bored.
The secret lies in how much you, as the author, know about your characters. So before you start writing your fiction novel, define them and make sure you have done your research, since there is nothing more captivating than a book that introduces you to new "friends".
Sometimes the secret is in the speed with which you write. We all know that writing is a complex task that requires time, inspiration, imagination, vocabulary, research and different aspects that can take hours, which causes many writers to get stuck. To some, it takes days, months, and even years, to write a story that could be completed in less. However, at Inkspired we believe that this has a great margin for improvement and that you only need to follow certain guidelines and have the right tools to maximize your time.
We have summarized these guidelines in 5 tips.
1) Practice creates the master.
First, you have to know that the speed of your writing is your speed. Not someone else's. So you should not compare yourself, or feel disadvantaged at any time. The rhythm is something that is gained over time and with daily practice. The more you write, the faster you will write. The constant breakdown of ideas into textual words becomes - eventually - a habit, in which you will no longer have to write and erase all the time. However, you have to write. And every day, or its majority. Writing a short story, a chapter, or something that has a beginning and an end, on a daily basis, will increase your performance.
2) The organization makes the worker.
It seems a cliché, but no. When you write a story, the more organized you have your ideas, your characters, the sequence of events, your doubts, and your physical space, the more effective you will be writing. Have everything at hand: your notes, your sources of research, the outline of the story, the visual maps, the description of your characters, the drawings (if you are one of those who draws), and everything you need. Inkspired, precisely, aims to support you with this organization, and in the Inkspired Writer App, we have an option for you to build your visual maps, identify and define your characters, places, events, etc.
3) The biggest challenge is not against the clock but against ourselves.
Set limit Set goals and short-term times: "I do not do anything else until this chapter ends", "I will not leave this until I complete a certain amount of pages"; "I write 1 chapter every 3 days"; "The day is not over until I solve this problem." Write your goals in a place where you can always see them. Jessica Page, the author of Writing Out The Storm, confessed that she accomplished a thousand times more when she wrote down her goals and put them in a place that she had to see all the time. Platforms like Inkspired give you the option to put reminders to encourage you to continue your writing.
4) Be perfectly imperfect.
Allow yourself to write whatever you feel deep inside. Do not expect to write the perfect way or find the most elaborate words, or think that there will be no going back. The first thing is to get out of the stalemate and move forward. Staying on the same page, or in the same sentences for a long time, generates fatigue and even blocks you. Move forward, write, flow, and then, you can go back whenever you want to correct it.
5) If you want to be a writer, you have to act like a writer.
Look at it as a profession, not as a hobby. Find your weak points and work on them. For example, if you tend to be distracted, put aside the mobile phone, the internet, and retire to a quiet place where you can only focus your attention on the text. Establish a schedule and writing space, and keep it, as if it were a job. You will see how in less time than you think, your story will be ready to be published.