Sunday, September 13, 2009

from Robert Swartwood

Hint Fiction: An Exercise In Brevity

A story 25 words or less that suggests a larger, more complex story.
Complete but not self-sustained (beginning, middle, end). Be
imaginative and have fun.

Bio: Robert Swartwood is the editor of Hint Fiction (W.W. Norton, 2010).

Read "Corrections & Clarifications" in elimae
Read "Lea & Perrins"in Lamination Colony


  1. are the best hint fictions the ones that point to dark/horrifying possibilities?

  2. Not at all. Mine tend to, granted, but that's because I'm a pessimistic person. I think the dark/horrifying possibilities is what speaks to most people, so that's why you tend to get the trend of murder and mayhem. It's easy for people to come up with that stuff in so few words (which is worrisome). But also I've read some hint fictions that give me a warm sense of fulfillment and make me think the world isn't such a shitty place after all, so, as they say, there is always a brighter side.

  3. I agree with Robert. If anything, the vast majority of hint fictions are dark, so it's at least the more subtle, nuanced pieces that really catch my fancy.

    I think between dark and light, it's also probably easier to have a reader imagine the details of a tragedy than to contemplate a fulfilling happy ending on their own.

  4. I like how these are springboards to larger narratives, the story choices and possibilities endless ...