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My Usual: The Snow Micro Challenge

My musings on the challenge; a collation of my entries; some shout outs to other participants

By L.C. SchäferPublished 4 months ago 3 min read
My Usual: The Snow Micro Challenge
Photo by Alberto Restifo on Unsplash

First up: My Musings

My main hope, as always, is that the entries that place hit the brief.

Microfiction is hard. I'm doing it every day, and I still think that several of those efforts probably don't hold up to a strict definition of microfiction. I think they do (of course, that's why I posted them), but I am biased aren't I? I'm too close. I'm probably wrong at least some of the time. I might be wrong about some of my challenge entries as well.

A fiction story needs to have certain features. Things like beginning, middle, and end twist. Sure, you can cut corners and shave bits off. Microfiction is all about paring it down wherever possible. Squeezing every word, and making it do the maximum amount of heavy lifting. Hinting at things, letting the reader fill in some gaps.

But like a lot of rules in writing, there's some wiggle room. You can bend the rules, if you do it well. For example, you can cut off the beginning (in media res).

I don't think an explicit ending is completely necessary either. For example, when the camera pans away from the couple kissing in the hotel room, and maybe there's a shot of waves rolling in and out on the beach below, we know what that is. We didn't need it in explicit 4K detail and dolby surround for the story to be complete. Some of you pervs and Game of Thrones fans (hi!) might prefer the in-your-face option, but it's a stylistic choice, isn't it? The story is still whole either way.

You can chop the heck out of it, but when you're done, it still needs to be a story. Not a set up, not a scene. There needs to be change. Conflict, success, death, escape.

Not to put too fine a point on it, something has to happen.

My Entries

There were over 600 entries in this challenge, if I've counted right. Eight of them were mine. Here they are, oldest to newest. Buckle up!

The Snowman

Joy at the Top of the Hill

Blood on Snow

Snow Angel

Revenge of the Snowman

Snow Golem

Cragfast

Panthera Uncia

I don't want to give you a synopsis for these individually, because it will just be a spoiler-fest.

The Snowman, Revenge of the Snowman, and Snow Golem all work together, but also (I think) work as stand-alone stories. The first two being two parts of the same story, and the third being from a different perspective.

"Joy" is based on a true story, but not something I saw first-hand.

Cragfast is just a spectacular word, and I wanted to make a story around it.

Shout-outs

Here are a few of my favourite entries. It's not an exhaustive list by any stretch. I would be very happy if you would go and show them some love 😁

Lynx Crossing by Lana V Lynx

Telltale crimson trail by Raymond G. Taylor

Fresh Eyes, First Snow by The Dani Writer

Winter Walk by Laura Lann

Please Find Me by Mohammed Darasi

Hunted by Sian N. Clutton

Into the Snow by Rachel Deeming

Unicorn and the Village by JBaz

Jack Rollins by Kenny Penn

Previous Challenges

I did the same for previous challenges. Here are the last two:

The Abecedarian Challenge

The Misplaced Challenge:

++++++++++++

Thank you for reading! If you entered this challenge, GOOD LUCK!

I've done my best to read as many as possible, but I know I have missed some. If I haven't seen your submission, please link to it in the comments for me, or link to someone else's that you think is especially good.

VocalShoutoutCommunityChallenge

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Book-baby is available on Kindle Unlimited

Flexing the writing muscle

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Here be micros

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Sometimes writes under S.E.Holz

"I've read books. Well. Chewed books."

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Comments (15)

  • Randy Wayne Jellison-Knock4 months ago

    Great selection, L.C.! I cannot disagree with a one of them. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Joe O’Connor4 months ago

    Very much agreed that something needs to happen in a micro fiction, in order to separate it from simply being the description of a scene. I like reading your summaries of each challenge, and will check out a few of the stories you recommended!

  • Sid Aaron Hirji4 months ago

    Gotta give some of these a read

  • Brin J.4 months ago

    Right? I feel like I can't fulfill a microfiction with only 250 words without it feeling so rushed and unfulfilling. How can you fit a beginning, middle, end, AND twist? I'm struggling😅

  • Marie Sinadjan4 months ago

    I love how you made interconnected stories! These are great, and thank you so much for putting them all together in one place for me to catch up on 😄

  • Ashley Shiflett4 months ago

    I knew it wouldnt be your last entry. Im glad it wasnt! :D

  • Caroline Craven4 months ago

    Some excellent entries for the challenge L.C. I hope at least a couple of them place because they totally deserve to.

  • Alexander McEvoy4 months ago

    Micro-fiction is a strange beast for me. I tend to flub the assignment by making people think "oh there must be more to this!" when sadly there isn't lol. I've really enjoyed reading all your work and think it's awesome that you included a bibliography of other works you think did particularly well! It's such a great way of doing things

  • I agree with your thoughts on the story structure, especially within the context of "microfiction" (though I'm not a literary genius so take my thoughts with a grain of salt haha). Often, our imaginations can piece together things in such powerful ways that by allowing the imagination to do the work itself, a piece can become so much more powerful!

  • Lindsay Sfara4 months ago

    I really enjoyed reading your reflection on the challenge and your own work. And I can definitely relate to writing microfiction. I've only tried it once or twice so far, and who knows if I'm doing it "right" or "well enough." But that's how we all grow! And I have personally enjoyed your microfiction the past few days, so keep up the great work :)

  • Laura Lann4 months ago

    I have really enjoyed reading your stories for this challenge. And I always look forward to your reflections on these challenges. Thank you for the shout out! I'm honored you enjoyed it and shared 😀

  • John Cox4 months ago

    I love your insightful discussion of micro fiction. And you right, damn it's hard to do well!

  • Cathy holmes4 months ago

    Great idea. I think u have seen all of yours. I will confirm. Time to check our the others. Thanks for the recs.

  • Micro-fiction is tough for me. I’m a wordy talker. Lol I did enter the Winter micro-fiction challenge though. Mostly because it gave me a topic to write about and I needed inspiration. I did not know you could submit more than one piece to a challenge.

  • Rachel Deeming4 months ago

    Thanks for the shout out. I've read some of these but not all so I will check them out.

L.C. SchäferWritten by L.C. Schäfer

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