Micro-Fiction As Prompts & Templates

By Jamie McSloy / April 29, 2018
micro fiction prompts and templates featured image

Micro-Fiction As Prompt

Alright you guys are going to have to bear with me with these tiny blog posts.

Let’s start with some Grandpa Jamie life lesson stuff.

When you’re young you can work and work and work. You can shake sleep off, work through the night, get a couple of hours to recharge and go back at it.

Fantastic.

Don’t think you’ll be able to do that your whole life. Jamie, not exactly a grandpa, spent the week doing fourteen hours a day and thousands of words per day typing.

I woke up this morning and it hurts to type. Reading online, seems I have repetitive strain injury or tendonitis of the hand.

Uh-oh.

(Time Out: If you’re enjoying this article, then you should probably sign up to my mailing list, where I give out ideas and business tricks that I don’t share publicly. Click here, fill out your details and get yourself on the list! You won’t leave this page.

Now Back To The Regular Programming Schedule…)

Anyway, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that when you’re handicapped in some way, you tend to have to find creative ways of doing things. More on that if I figure it out, but I’ll keep it short and sweet today because this isn’t all that pleasant.

Micro-Fiction As Genius Prompt Idea

A few weeks back, I saw a guy on Tumblr (I think) or some other blog platform. He was writing Lovecraft-style monster fiction. It was only micro-fiction, so not a lot of words per story, and the sort of thing that you’d have a hard time selling.

Still, it’s a hobby and this guy was very good at it.

But having spent far too much time reading a couple of dozen of these stories, it hit me.

He was using a formula for writing the stories.

And because I just love formulas, writing and stuff like that, I sat and broke it down.

Each “episode” varied slightly, but it basically went something like this:

Title

Subtitle

Subject:

Location

That was literally the setting, subject and all kinds of information in a few words. You knew the story you were going to get.

They all involved an X-Files style storyline in two parts:

  1. The background info
  2. The update

The first part was four paragraphs.

  1. Mysterious stuff happened in X
  2. Then an inciting incident
  3. We sent our investigators
  4. They reported [phenomena] and worked [a solution]

Then the second part:

  1. Horror realised
  2. Horror defeated
  3. Back to the real world

This was a genius structure, and every story used it. It took me a good ten to twenty stories before I even realised the formula.

What struck me was that this formula contained everything you’d need to fully-flesh out a longer story or even a novel (though you would need to incorporate more material.)

You Can Do This

It doesn’t matter what genre you write in. You can create a similar set up and the use it to flesh out story prompts.

(Or articles or non-fiction, but we’ll go there another time.)

To be honest, somebody has probably done the hard work for you if you look up “Genre” “micro-fiction templates” or something.

Maybe not.

I made my own from the template I laid out above for multiple genres. The benefits you get are that you can work from anywhere at any time (it’s virtually impossible to forget that structure) and you can then turn those stories into longer works (that are assets forever) quickly and easily.

With that, I’m off.

Catch you in the next one folks. Happy writing.


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