Genre tips

#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Drabble

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 find that too busy and decided to post mine ‘about’ once a month. Yes, it’ll take me a couple of years. Sigh.

My topic, like the last time, will be writing genres.

This genre:



a work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length

Tipsa to z

  1. A drabble should have a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning sets up the story, the middle is the meat (the progression of the story) and the end provides the conclusion.
  2. Best drabbles have a twist in the tale — the start and middle will take you in an expected direction and then the end turns that around.
  3. Free-write the first draft. Don’t worry about the word count, and then cut.
  4. Only include 1-2 plots and subplots. You don’t have time for more.
  5. If you are a new writer, use drabbles as a writing exercise, to force yourself to analyze every word you use, make it essential.
  6. This genre is most popular with science fiction but feel free to write about anything.

Popular Books

I didn’t get any suggestions from Indie authors for drabbles they’ve written. If you have one, add it to the comments! And, there aren’t a lot of published books in this genre so I struggled to come up with a list for you:

  1. 81 Horror Drabbles by Lennie Grace
  2. Love: A Dark Microfiction Anthology edited by D. Kershaw
  3. Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend by Abiran Raveenthiran et al
  4.’s online ezine.
  5. The Drabble Project edited by Beccon Publications
  6. Tim Hawken’s list of 2020’s best drabbles
  7. Justice, by Kally Jo Surbeck
  8. What Dolls Eat, by Karen Bovenmyer
  9. A sampling of Drabbles from

Click for complete list of these 26 genres

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

More D Genres:

Help me crowdsource the books

This year, instead of searching for popular books in each genre, I’ll crowdsource them–include books as often as possible written by Indie authors. That means yours. Here’s how you get involved:

  • Go through the list of genres (and subgenres) below. They are less common than the usual so you’ll have to read the definitions and decide where your books fit. If you’re close, that’s good enough. For example: If you write suspenseful historical fiction, add your name to “historical suspense”.
  • In the comments, tell me your name, your book, a link to where it’s sold, and the genre it fits.
  • If no genre fits your books, give me your favorites in a genre. I’ll still credit you with a linkback.
  • When I get to that genre (between April 1, 2021 and about two years later), I’ll put your book in the list of examples with a link to where it can be purchased. If you suggested a book, I’ll link to your blog.

That’s it! I sure hope you play along with me on this!

Here’s the genre list (links aren’t live until publication).

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 Man vs. Nature saga, and the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers. 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, Laws of Nature, Summer 2021. 

68 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge: Genres–Drabble

  1. A new kind of flash fiction? I’ll have to check out some of the titles you’ve suggested. There’s the famous Drabble comic by Kevin Fagan, the daily adventures of the nerdiest man on earth. Fagan lives in Mission Viejo, BTW. You could say that I think in drabbles all day long.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wanted to be good at drabbles, but I just haven’t been able to make them work so far. The shortest story I ever wrote and really liked was 150 words. I did come up with a 100 word version, but the 150 length was better for the tale. I’d still like to write a drabble, but I’ll have to come up with a more streamlined story idea first. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It must be extremely difficult to write a compelling, “successful” drabble! I can see this would be a perfect writing exercise, especially for fiction writers. As I read your post, I had to think about some of Hugh Robert’s 99-word flash fiction pieces. I’m not sure if you are familiar with his blog, Hugh’s Views and News…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I never heard of a Drabble. What’s wrong with me? Flash fiction – love it and I challenge my writing students with it all the time. Guess what’s going to be in their next lesson? Yup, write a drapple. 100 words exactly. Not all of them are into sci fi, so I might not “make” them use that genre. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It looks like Drabble is different than flash fiction. I learned to write flash fiction and it has a quick twist at the end, but it doesn’t require a beginning, a middle, and an end. I’ve done the 100 words fiction but wasn’t done in this definition. Just learned something today. Thank you, Jacqui!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I guess it’s like a very short story (says one who’s never written one). I like novels with lots of time to get to know characters and dig into the plot so I may not read these any time soon.


  6. I *love* the word drabble – rolls off the tongue nicely. Never heard of it before, but turns out this is one I’ve written 🙂 Although I just called it Flash Fiction.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi Jacqui – I wasn’t sure exactly what a drabble was … I did do one years ago … but it included 9 words that had to be in the story … I rather enjoyed it … so I’m interested to read this – thanks for enlightening us – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

    • I already used ‘dystopian’ and ‘diary’ and ‘digital story’. You can see why I struggled a bit. My next D (in the next list) will be for ‘dark’. Every genre seems to have a ‘dark’ option.


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