Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Quick Fiction

The A to Z Challenge asks bloggers to post 26 articles on a themed topic. It’s supposed to be every day except Sundays during the month of April but I found it way too busy for the likes of me, and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last two times I did the conventional approach, is writing genres.

This genre:

Quick Fiction


fiction that is only a few pages or even a few paragraphs, forcing writers to fit the entire plot, character development, setting, and all other fiction details into 500-1000 words. Also known as micro-fiction, sudden fiction, Twit-fic, Drabble, Twabble, short-short stories, and others.  

Tipsa to z

  1. Like poetry in the sense that every word and phrase must be pithy and concise
  2. Your story must have conflict.
  3. Your story must have complete character arcs.
  4. Story must be very short. It may be as short as 100 words.
  5. Think of quick fiction as a cousin to poetry.
  6. “The real key to microfiction is efficiency of text. You don’t need to tell less of a story, and you don’t need to summarize the story. You need to make careful word and phrase choices that are able to paint vivid pictures and imply more than their brevity would suggest.”–the Lit Reactor
  7. It must have a beginning, middle, and end.
  8. It must have character development–they grow.
  9. Choose a good title. This is more important in quick fiction than most other fictions.
  10. Pick character names that say much more (so you don’t have to write it). Like Scrooge does.

“Don’t write bad microfiction. It’s far too easy to make a whole lot of it and the world will crumble under the weight of it all. Don’t be the a**h*le who triggers the apocalypse. Take your time and write something people might actually want to read.–the Lit Reactor (she’s great)

Popular Books

  1. It’s Pot Luck When You Move Into A Unit, by Libby Sommer
  2. Any quick fiction by Lydia Davis
  3. The Blind Man by Kate Chopin
  4. You’re An Ugly Crier by Megan Giddings
  5. Here’s a list of what’s considered the best.

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

Click for a complete list of all genres I’ve written about

More about Quick Fiction

Flash Fiction

100 Word Story

For a good overview, check out Libby Sommer’s blog post.

More Genres:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

60 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Quick Fiction

  1. Hi Jacqui – I could probably cope with this … and must do something for WEP next week … not sure I like the very short one that you wrote for Darlene … might need to shut my eyes and run!! Take care – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have learned to love flash fiction (quick fiction); I write it a lot with my writing students. I give prompts and we write in response either 5 minutes or 10 minutes, then read out loud. Very daunting at first, but the more you do it, the easier (and more natural) it becomes. I think flash fiction is a wonderful way to tighten up our writing, whether for short stories or novels.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, your tip about being selective when naming a character in short fiction was great, getting the most mileage out of a character! I presume quick fiction is the equivalent of flash fiction?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Great post, Jacqui. I’ve been writing flash fiction, 100 words, and Diana’s Speculative fiction… for several years. I love it. I did’t come across the definition and rules until a month ago. Your tips have more points than what I’ve learned from that post. Your list of books is interesting and I’ll make note of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Interesting genre, Jacqui. I’m really enjoying these “time warped” A-Z posts, as I learn something new with every new post/letter. Quick fiction must be longer than flash fiction. Both are good exercises to create compelling content, I think. Have you ever played around with it?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A Quick Decision

    “Quick! Turn on the light!” Dawn reached for the match.

    “Quick! Turn off the light!” Tempest blew it out.

    “You’re too late!” Sarge crushed the candle under his boot.

    “Now we’re done for.” Clay crumpled to the ground.

    “You don’t mind if I leave you now, do you?” asked Breezy.

    The wolf skulked closer and chose a victim.

    Aha, the writer thought. Not a bad start.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I hadn’t heard of quick fiction. I think any short story or quick fiction would be challenging because every word has to count. I admire people who can write short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been thinking of doing a quick fic for the last few weeks (participating in writing challenge through a blog I follow) and I still haven’t done it. The tips are very timely! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The best very short story I had read was: ‘Sara’s friend was so thin that she slipped down the plughole during her bath. From that day, Sue bathed with a coat hanger in her mouth.’ I don’t know another one to better this one. Do you?


    Liked by 2 people

    • It includes all the reasons I don’t write poetry–extremely careful word choice, story told with pacing and setting as much as words. We novel writers have some wiggle room for getting our wording right.

      Liked by 1 person

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