Drabble

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For other uses, see Drabble (disambiguation).

A drabble is a short work of fiction of around one hundred words in length.[1][2][3][4] The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

History[edit]

The concept is said to have originated in UK science fiction fandom in the 1980s; the 100-word format was established by the Birmingham University SF Society, taking a term from Monty Python's 1971 Big Red Book.[1][4] In the book, "Drabble" was described as a word game where the first participant to write a novel was the winner. In order to make the game possible in the real world, it was agreed that 100 words would suffice.

In drabble contests, participants are given a theme and a certain amount of time to write. (For example, Wilfrid Laurier University conducted a "100 Words Centennial Drabble Contest" in commemoration of its 100th anniversary in 2011, in which contestants were asked to write about "inspiration, leadership or purpose".[1][5]) Drabble contests, and drabbles in general, are popular in science fiction fandom and in fan fiction. Beccon Publications published three volumes, "The Drabble Project" (1988) and "Drabble II: Double Century" (1990), both edited by Rob Meades and David Wake, and "Drabble Who" (1993), edited by David J. Howe and David Wake.

Examples[edit]

Published science fiction writers who have written drabbles include Brian Aldiss and Gene Wolfe (both of whom contributed to "The Drabble Project)[4] and Lois McMaster Bujold (whose novel Cryoburn finishes with a sequence of five drabbles, each told from the point of view of a different character).[6][7]

100 Word Story is an online literary journal that was co-founded in 2011 by Grant Faulkner and Lynn Mundell.[8] It publishes stories that are exactly 100 words long.

55 Fiction[edit]

One example of drabble is 55 Fiction, which is a form of microfiction that refers to the works of fiction that are either limited to a maximum of 55 words or have a requirement of exactly 55 words.[9] The origin of 55 Fiction can be traced to a short story writing contest organized by New Times, an independent alternative weekly in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1987.[10] The idea was proposed by New Times founder and publisher Steve Moss.[11]

Criteria[edit]

A literary work will be considered 55 Fiction[citation needed] if it has:

  1. 55 words or fewer, however some publishers actually require exactly 55 words – no more and no less;
  2. A setting;
  3. One or more characters;
  4. Some conflict; and
  5. A resolution. (Not limited to the moral of the story)

The title of the story is not part of the overall word count, but it still cannot exceed seven words.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Winners named in WLU drabble competition", Waterloo Region Record, October 1, 2011.
  2. ^ "Flash fiction: 'Intense, urgent and a little explosive'", The Irish Times, October 26, 2011, copy available here from HighBeam Research (subscription required).
  3. ^ Sarah Womer, "AWC professor impressed by short story entries", Yuma Sun, December 21, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c "Flash Fiction". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction. 21 December 2011. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Liz Smith, "Laurier launches literary competition to commemorate Centennial year", The Cord Weekly, September 28, 2011.
  6. ^ T K Kenyon (22 September 2011). "REVIEW: 'Cryoburn (A Miles Vorkosigan Novel)' by Lois McMaster Bujold". SF Signal. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  7. ^ Fred Cleaver (21 November 2010). "Science fiction books". Denver Post. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.thereviewreview.net/interviews/flash-fiction
  9. ^ Ron Wiggins (October 11, 2001). "PAPER CHALLENGES WRITERS TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 7 June 2012.  (subscription required)
  10. ^ "Mini- és maxiregények". Nyelv és Tudomány (in Hungarian). June 27, 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "NEW TIMES PUBLISHER DIED OF EPILEPSY". The Tribune. May 17, 2005. 

External links[edit]