There’s a rule I have when it comes to writing, although it applies more toward editing than anything else. It’s a simple adage and it keeps me honest and my stories quick-paced.
The greatest, most profound story ever written is one word long.
Now, I’m sure you’re asking, “What’s the word?” If I knew it, I would be a wealthy man. The point of my rule isn’t to figure out an exact word, it’s to be brief, direct, and to the point.
I don’t feel there’s a reason to belabor a topic, concept, or discussion, unless something can be gained from it. It’s the reason why my writing often needs details added to it, because I’ve been so brief. I’ve discussed before how I don’t read as fast as most people, but this bears repeating. What might be a five-minute annoyance for one reader could be a two-week torture for me.
Of course, that’s why I have that rule. It keeps me involved and honest with my writing. That way, speed readers will be able to absorb my text with very few bumps and those who read at a slower pace can remain just as involved.
There is a form of accelerated fiction that speaks to this. As you may have guessed, this is Flash Fiction. A page of text, less than a thousand words, and there might just be a twist at the end. This is a format that praises concise word choice, especially if the writer chooses to put that little twist at the end.
I wrote a short piece years ago that turned out to be flash fiction. I may post it here in a few days for your enjoyment. For now, here’s a link to a flash fiction by Shen Hart, based on a conversation we had about muses. Enjoy! (I did.)