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Whole Worlds In Less Than 25 Words

You remember those six word memoirs that were all the rage a while back? They were modeled on a story Hemingway allegedly wrote on a dare:

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.


Write a whole novel in 25 words or fewer. Grant Dougall hide caption

toggle caption Grant Dougall

Well now there's a new book "Hint Fiction," a collection of slightly longer efforts, 25 words or less, edited by Robert Smartwood. From the New Yorker:

“Hint Fiction” gives writers a little more room to roam. A hinting story, Swartwood explains, should do in twenty-five words what it could do in twenty-five hundred, that is, it “should be complete by standing by itself as its own little world.” And, like all good fiction, it should tell a story while gesturing toward all the unknowable spaces outside the text.

You can preview a bunch of them here. My favorite is “Houston, We Have a Problem,” by J. Matthew Zoss.

I’m sorry, but there’s not enough air in here for everyone. I’ll tell them you were a hero.

Though, "Through Tiny Windows," by Barry Napier, has a nice Borgesian feel to it.

When they opened the cadaver, they found a house. A couple argued inside. There was a rhythm to their words, like the beating of a heart.

Feel free to write your own in the comments.



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