Review of MICRO FICTION by Michael A. Kechula
WRITING 100 WORD STORIES (DRABBLES) FOR MAGAZINES AND CONTESTS
BooksForABuck.com, November 2014
In today's 'everything in a hurry' world of the Internet, there's a new appeal in short-form stories. Author Michael A. Kechula has uncovered a demand for ultra-short (100 word) stories called 'Drabbles.' Telling a complete story in exactly 100 words is a challenge, (in fact, just writing this review has consumed far more than 100 words), but Kechula is sharing his secrets.
In a fact-filled self-study guide, author Michael A. Kechula (see more BooksForABuck.com books by Kechula) demystifies the creation of the 100 word drabble. He starts at the beginning, with some tips and tricks on developing story ideas and writing an opening hook, continues to the twist, and then goes into detail on how to make every word count. I enjoyed Kechula’s concept of a ‘word bank,’ with each word being treasured, every word cut from one sentence being returned to the bank to be reused for maximum impact elsewhere in the story. Finally, Kechula takes us through a detailed analysis of one of his own prize-winning stories, explaining how the story evolved from concept through its initial incarnations and finally into the fully realized story, complete with a twist ending.
MICRO FICTION is a self-study guide, complete with 165 drill questions and 125 word reduction exercises as well as hundreds of examples of Drabbles done right--and wrong. While it's possible simply to read this book, the writer will gain most advantage by taking out her pencil and working through the exercises.
Kechula stresses that he’s helping the reader develop his chops as a short-short story writer and that not all of his techniques will be as useful in longer format fiction. This is true to a certain extent—certainly Kechula’s stressing the need to tell not show and to minimize character development is driven by his need to economize words and may even be undesirable in novel-length fiction. On the other hand, I wish more novel writers would study Kechula’s tips. After all, whether a story last 100 words or 100,000, every word still should count.
MICRO FICTION stands alone but many of the lessons in this guide expand on, or work in conjunction with Kechula's guide, WRITING GENRE FLASH FICTION, also published by BooksForABuck.com. (See also collections of Kechula's Flash and Micro Fiction published by BooksForABuck.com.)
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