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Writing Prompt: Short Short Stories with Big Big Impact

5 Jun

My colleague talked in her blog post about Brown Girl Dreaming on Wednesday that we sometime think that we need to use a lot of words to get across our point or idea, but short short stories are like their name suggests very short and like with poetry a little can go a long way.  Short short fiction often also has a surprise closing think O’Henry stories or an M. Night Shyamalan movie that gives them a big punch at the end.  If you like to use a lot of words and find yourself needing to edit down then this could be a great challenge in focusing on conveying what you have to say in a small space.  It is also a great option for those who think they do not have enough time to write.    Hoopla has several collections of short short fiction including Great Short Short Stories, which includes works by notable authors all under six pages in length and The Short, Short-Story Omnibus including stories with twist endings. 

Try thinking of something you found surprising or unlikely to happen, what could you setup to lead up to that point?  What mundane every day activity could you give a unique twist to?  Sometimes having a shorter story that has a strong concept can resonate more than one that takes 100’s of pages to tell.  If you are feeling especially ambitious about being “short” then you can try your hand at microfiction which is made up of stories of under 300 words.  Some writers like to challenge themselves that their pieces are so short they can fit in one Tweet so remember if you have time to write a post in social media, you have enough time to write a story!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Resources


Destroy Your Misconceptions of YA Novels: Illuminae

27 May


Illuminae is a rather unusual book, especially for YA. On the surface, with its bright orange cover and lettering, you might think you’re picking up a book with your typical YA story tropes and cliche characters that give it that reputation YA is known for. A glimpse at the summary might spark your interest, but even still, you might be going in thinking you’ll get something slightly edgy at best.

You would be wrong.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is one of the those books that will take all of the misconceptions you have about YA and destroy them.

Our protagonists, Kady Grant and Ezra Mason only just broke up when their home planet, Kerenza IV, was attacked. The pair are then boarded onto two different rescue ships and a series of terrifying and chaotic events begin to unfold while they try to escape the enemy ship hunting them down.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The intensity of the plot and blend of scifi-horror elements really make this book shine. The writing is flawless and the character work in this is something to behold. As the first of a trilogy, Illuminae makes a spectacular entrance.  You can read a previous review of the novel here.

Enjoy writing?  Check out this Friday’s Writing Prompt for Fresh YA Fiction!

Written by:
Lauren Lapinski
Circulation Assistant


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