The Limitations of Limits


Dare I dabble in Drabble? the prolix writer asks.
What’ve ya got to lose? his friend patiently responds.
Not much…maybe 2400 words.
Were they all worth including?
Nah. Just my inner thoughts, deep regrets, and lessons learned about that kid–
You know the one.
Can’t say I do.
The lost kid…the one I tried to save.
What happened to him?
It’s a long story…


This is my second attempt at “flash fiction.” I have described the history of The Drabble (a specific type of flash fiction restricted to stories told in no more than 100 words) here. In essence, the story is supposed to have a traditional narrative arc (beginning, middle, and end), “a telling pivot, an emotional velocity,” and leave the reader feeling that you have a sense of where the story is going even without my giving you more details.

So, my dear reader/critics: It’s your turn. Am I on to something here? Do you enjoy these little interludes from my muchmuchmuch longer pieces? I really appreciate hearing your views.


12 thoughts on “The Limitations of Limits

  1. I have to say Annie that I enjoy your longer pieces, but then I have been known to top out at 4000 words, (5000 in the case of my Dickens Xmas post, although I have to admit some of those words were Dickens), so it’s a personal preference. I know a lot of readers prefer and only have time for shorter pieces, so I guess it’s whatever you have fun doing. I find once I get into a topic, I really get into it, and don’t want to shorten it up. If people grow bored and stop reading, so be it. I’ve never written any kind of short/flash fiction, I don’t think I have the imagination for that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Joni; I appreciate your feedback. I am a nonfiction writer to my core, but I am having fun with these short gambits, so I’ll just sprinkle them in occasionally.

      I must read your Dickens Xmas post!
      As for having or not having the imagination, I would never have thought of interviewing Jane Austen…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your shorter pieces still surely have the essential questions, so yes, yes I enjoy them. I’m also impressed at the breadth of your talent. So, rock it on, as you choose, and know that this devoted reader will be following, long or short. Length isn’t the point to me. It’s the content and what I’m left pondering. PS You’ve done beautifully with the “velocity” requirement here. Love that concept and your execution!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m enjoying your drabble. It’s really hard to write a story with less than 100 words and provide the required narrative arc. You managed to do so with a flair of humor. The last four words closed the arc and made me smile. The piece reminded me of the Abbot and Costello bit “Who’s on first?” I think you’re doing well with flash. Please continue your new muse. – Well Done –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Darnell. As I believe you know, I’m an admirer of your work, so your encouragement is most gratifying.
      I find these little pieces a welcome interlude. Don’t know how much further my fictional creativity will stretch!


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