I thought I was able to make very concise stories, I’ve written a few flash fiction stories and even got paid for one.
But recently Phil Plait over at Bad Astronomy turned me on to an extreme writing challenge.
Ficly is a writers site with a twist, all stories (and comments) must be 1049 characters or less. Maybe my buddy Ricky A Pursley wouldn’t find that a challenge, but for the rest of us it is.
For Example, I’ve had the idea for a middle of a story floating around in my head for a while. I never wrote it up because it needed a beginning and an end. I thought this would be a perfect place to put it, as even without a beginning and an end it is a complete thought. So I wrote it up, looked through it trimmed it down to only the barest parts and this is what I got.
A New Dimension in Home Office Design
“This is what you’ve been working on?” His wife asked.
“I told you I was redecorating my Home Office.”
“But I thought you were just going to throw up some Oak Paneling, not this…” She gestured at his creation.
“It’s a tesseract, A 3 Dimensional representation of a 4 Dimensional Hypercube.”
“There’s barely enough room for you to sit.”
“The perfect amount of room, and all the 3 Dimensional cubes that make up the outside of the hypercube slide in so everything is at arms length.”
“Why aren’t the lights on?”
“I had to give this room it’s own breaker box.” He told her. “A hi-tech office like this needs hi-tech, I have computers in outside cubes running windows, Linux, Unix, Mac, and a few OS things I’ve never heard of.”
“63 in all. And it’s own A/C unit of course. Hit that switch I’ll show you what it can do.”
“I’m not impressed?” She said after turning on the power and nothing happened.
“Something’s wrong.” He said.
“Honey where did the house go?” She was staring at a black void outside the door where the rest of the house had been.
“I must have wired something wrong and somehow turned this room into a real hypercube and we’ve been pushed into the fourth dimension.”
“I told you to go with the Oak Paneling, but you never listen to me, now look what you’ve done.”
Then I looked at the number of characters and found out I had to cut nearly a third out.
How did it turn out? You tell me. Here it is.
As if trying to write a story in 1049 characters wasn’t enough of a challenge, they have challenges, they throw out an idea and ask people to write a story around it.
If you are really a glutton for punishment, and I know I am, you can write prequels and sequels to other peoples work. It’s tough getting someone else’s tone right without imitating all under 1049 characters.
So if you are up for the challenge leave me a note and I’ll check out your work.
BTW: I have not received compensation from Ficly or any other website that I have reviewed on Project Savior.