Those of you that visit my other blog ‘Short Stories’ will know that I have recently become addicted to writing very short stories of just 140 characters (or less.) Just as I was getting used to this new, or at least new to me, form of story writing I go and discover ‘drabbles’. It’s entirely my own fault. I read about these in a writing magazine and couldn’t help but go to my computer and google ‘drabbles’, I don’t think life will ever be the same again!
For those of you that don’t know, drabbles are short stories of exactly 100 words. There seems to be some confusion as to where the term originated. It appears to have links to Birmingham University’s SF Society, the British author Phil Drabble and a Monty Python sketch. Check out the Drabble Project, you will see that some well-known authors have dabbled with drabbles (sorry about that.) At this point I should have been contented, turned off the computer and gone off and written a drabble or two, instead I continued to search and found ‘dribbles’ and ‘droubbles’!
In a way the names speak for themselves – dribbles are short stories of exactly 50 words and droubbles are short stories of exactly 200 words. Some might say that this is not story writing in its purest sense but I would disagree. For me writing is all about being able to tell a story – how long or short the ‘telling’ is is irrelevant, what really counts is what your audience think. Do the people reading your story enjoy it, does it move them in some way, do they want you to ‘tell’ them more stories? One of the most famous short stories that I have come across is by Ernest Hemmingway who, apparently, was challenged to write a story of just six words, he came up with this:
For sale:baby shoes, never worn.
To me that evokes all kinds of thoughts and questions and is extremely clever. Others may argue that it is impossible to tell a story in just six words. What do you think? Anyway I’m now off to see if I can write a dribble or a drabble or even a droubble – watch this space.