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Five Line Fiction



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Can you write a story in just five sentences?

Five line fiction “is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist,” says author Lillie McFerrin. Look at the examples below, and then try writing your own short story, titled DECEMBER, and composed of just five lines.

Examples

DECEMBER
When I first arrived in Boston, there was a thundersnow. That’s what the newsreaders called it. We sat at the window all afternoon and watched the snow swirl over Beacon Street. I rang Mum excitedly, to tell her I arrived, and about the snow. Through the phone, I heard the crows and a day that was still and hot and blue.

DECEMBER
December 31st was so cold that my brother claimed he heard trees exploding. He’d been up in the woods, hollering for our dog, and when he returned to the house his eyebrows and eyelashes were frosted white. Rudy settled on the dog bed, licking at his paws, the ice lodged in the pads. We’d heard this myth: frozen sap expanding, bursting trunks from the inside out. I don’t believe you, I said. Like gun shot, he said… and hunting season’s over.

As you compress a story into five lines, think about what you want the reader to feel or think or ask by the time they have reached the last word. How can you create this feeling/thought/question in just five lines? Although you can only say so much in such a short space, what can you suggest about the character, the situation, the past and the future? To get your creativity flowing, check out the exemplar pieces of Community Ambassadors: "December" by FizzyBaguette and "The Sundance Kid" by Ruthh.