Short-Short Stories

The Secret of the Short Short Story – an intro

Here’s what I know about short-short story writing.

Title — a big part of the appeal, but can’t fix a poor opening line.
Opening sentence — if this doesn’t enlighten and entice your reader will stop
Opening paragraph — set the scene, provide local and date-driven color, and bring the reader along for a quick story
The story — there needs to be an arc, a reason we care
The ending — master the twist, but don’t overdo it

The best short-short stories are fun to read. They leave you having experienced an abbreviated adventure. They don’t take long to read, so you can read a handful, depending on your time. They don’t take too long to write. I can’t write a chapter or an article during my normal work hours. Doing a SSS is easy.

interleaved letter sequences
coming soon from Press of Light and Space on Amazon.

Interleaved Letter Sequences (101 short-short stories)

/ˌin(t)ərˈlēv/ def: the interspersing of fields or channels of different meaning sequentially in memory.

* not one of these characters is real, this is short fiction.

  1. Dead End (black ice)
  2. Two Senses Clash (anesthesia)
  3. White Ennui (a good job)
  4. Holding Space (an inhospitable place)
  5. Ecstacy of St. Francis (gentle mystic)
  6. A Chemistry of Spirits (memories and conversations)
  7. Walking Along the Edge (snow blind)
  8. Forget the Last Thing I Said (self)
  9. Woman Overwhelmed (furious patience)
  10. When In Paris (portrait of the artist)
  11. Generational Wealth (preschool friends)
  12. “I Don’t Have Orgasms,” She Said (online hookup)
  13. What Is It About New York? (aspirational growth)
  14. There Were No Wise Men (two asses talking)
  15. Skedaddle (on the volcano)
  16. Out the Window (harbinger of pain)
  17. Alexa Is Running the Show (adverse intelligence)
  18. Vape Vape Everything’s Fine (addiction)
  19. Blue Man Shopping (what’s the big idea)
  20. Dance Lesson No. 2 (smooth jazz)
  21. Crushing Static (torture and teeth)
  22. Neuroplasticity (and affirmations)
  23. In Other Words (duo lingo)
  24. Sublingual (word seeking)
  25. I Do Know It’s Me (naturally high)
  26. The Oddest Thing (practically sane)
  27. Pick and Choose (fatherless)
  28. Nothing On Pornhub (lesbian tendencies)
  29. The Metaverse Describes Itself (ChatGPT Gives It a Go)
  30. Her Love Was Strong (what are you drinking?)
  31. Deep Fake (looking in the wrong places)
  32. The Eyes Have It (lethal moments)
  33. Music In the Car (asimov’s gambit)
  34. Girl in the Pool (am I high or dreaming)
  35. A Moment Frozen in Time (the divorce brochure)
  36. Saying “I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Make it Better (don’t ask me again)
  37. Privacy Rising (your phone is bleeding)
  38. Now That I’ve Danced Myself Out of the Room (missing the big love)
  39. What Is Your Deepest Intention? (I’ve been good too long)
  40. Just In Time for the Butterflies (every ending is a new beginning)
  41. Learning Loneliness (seeking my own adventure)
  42. The Hidden Message (previous lovers)
  43. Your Halo Is Not Here (two women)
  44. Forgetting the Danger ( icy water)
  45. Pressure of Starlight (what is emerging)
  46. The Longest Last Winter Together (losing my head)
  47. Eloquence Lost (creative happiness)
  48. Out of the Loop (passing shots)
  49. I Can Be Whatever You Want (beginning and ending)
  50. The Mosquito (losing blood)
  51. If I Could Talk I’d Tell You (she forgot to mention)
  52. We’ll Always Have Nola (drinks in the quarter)
  53. Killing Starlings (we’re all mad here)
  54. The Last Amazing Cat (me and my shadow)
  55. Escape Velocity (darkness visible)
  56. Lover Falls (everyone loves a puppy)
  57. Sorry, Yes (a shaggy dog story)
  58. Misty Morning at the Lake (losing Vermont)
  59. A Few Lurid Details (quest for love)
  60. You Know They Put Wires In Your Heart, Right? (carto vizigo)
  61. Sons and Lovers (i still dream of your kiss)
  62. A Slow Bleeding Out (lover’s leap)
  63. Rather Not Write About Her (seeking release)
  64. I Want to Disappear (final respects)
  65. Telling Detail (that’s Mr. Bradbury to you)
  66. Doing What You Hate (emotional variability)
  67. The High Way (a new puppy)
  68. Sprint By Sprint (rehoming)
  69. The Luckiest Man Alive (is this your dog?)
  70. The Most Beautiful Girl’s Sadness (her hair, her hair was alive)
  71. “Sorry” Won’t Suffice (it’s not always about you)
  72. Losing Eva (i tried to be nice)
  73. A Dangerous View (snowbird)
  74. From the Flip Side (manager miscue)
  75. Satellites of Love (aglow in orbit)
  76. Flawed Treasure Maps (near misses at happiness)
  77. Listen to the Sound of My Voice ( illuminating ghosts)
  78. Behind My House (rain for days)
  79. The Empty Home of a Heart in Trouble* (love has nothing to do with it)
  80. Delays Expected (I have something to show you)
  81. The Future Is An Attitude (life at altitude)
  82. Coffee and Air Conditioning (baby, it’s hot outside)
  83. Something In the Way (let’s stay home tonight)
  84. Start at the Ending (don’t spoil it for me)
  85. Just Like Eating a Banana (ust a banana story)
  86. The Ping is the Thing (are you receiving me?)
  87. This Remains a Love Story (she’s around)
  88. International Cat Day (laughing with the dogs)
  89. The Monkeypox Roundtable (the girl with ja wobble)
  90. You’re On Mute (online dating)
  91. Translation Not Found (vacation complications)
  92. Unavoidable Trouble (musical cute girl)
  93. Early Riser (at the end of a marriage)
  94. Survival (nline dating — first date)
  95. Pixels of You (single dad and his daughter)
  96. Heart On (client-therapist privilege)
  97. Ambien and Me (closing moments of a relationship)
  98. Hawk Power (tennis fetish)
  99. Asimov’s Dream (golden opportunity)
  100. Heaven Is a Place (opening gambit of love)
  101. Only a Week Since My Lover Left (breakups are confusing)

End of first book of short-short stories. < back to McElhenney.net

words, language and innovation (or The King of the Short-Short Story)

  1. I Write (to prove something)
  2. Discovery (core drive)
  3. Inconceivable (happy holidays)
  4. Write Your Heart Out (and the day job)
  5. Zoom In (the writer’s room)
  6. Gladiator USA Jr. (unlimited)
  7. Moms-Who (funny or die)
  8. Couple Things (about facebook)
  9. The Dumb Stuff I’m Going To Do Today (you?)
  10. When You Believe There Are No Accidents (synchronicity)
  11. Impatience (in a mood)
  12. Imaginary Life (all there is)
  13. Influencers & Broadcasters (tweet me)
  14. And the player was love. (meta meta meta)
  15. Jettison Fury (parenting in time and space)
  16. King of the Short-Short Story (ain’t me)
  17. Give Up Now (not Lassy)
  18. The First Man of Letters (soft porn)
  19. Great American Coming of Age (work in progress)
  20. Mortal Coils and All That (shuffling our decks)
  21. A Shrinking Discovery (eco-health update)
  22. Saddest Maserati (in the rain)
  23. TikTok Knocking (dancing around the data)
  24. Alexa Has Left the Building (spy bots)
  25. Every Donut Not Eaten (missing pieces)
  26. Office 365 Almost Gets Smart (my AI)
  27. The Pipes Might Burst (frigid winter storm)
  28. Imaginary Girl (spider & snake)
  29. How Long Do We Spend Mourning Our Dead Facebook Friends? (requiem)
  30. If That One Thing Had Not Happened (things would be…)
  31. Accidental Drag Show (and bingo)
  32. She Had Everything (seeing red)
  33. Not Much of a Drinker (developing a taste)
  34. Daily Drunk (one more)
  35. I’ve Seen All Good People (in Teslas)
  36. Intoxicating Kisses (something is broken)
  37. Gone to the Dogs (who’s in charge?)
  38. Call of the Big City (seeking a moment)
  39. Stupid Money (driving school teslas)
  40. Drinks Unhinged (and singing)
  41. Angry Muscles (passing by)
  42. Fleet of Teslas (driving and crying)
  43. My AI Girlfriend (how do I say…)
  44. Non-Binary Ambition (hip bones)
  45. Walk of Emmaus (contemporary hymns)
  46. GF 1 (a lion tattoo)
  47. My AI Lover (wifi passwords)
  48. The Last Known Poet (tweets to no one)
  49. Her Woo-Woo Therapist (had an answer)
  50. A Gigantic Cock (in the front yard)
  51. The Second Coming (Jesus.AI)
  52. Werewolf (the youngest child)
  53. Native Texan (before AC)
  54. Cimarron (My Last Good Summer)
  55. Nuts Roasted (overnight)
  56. It Took Her A While (to leave)
  57. Tales of the Tilted Planet (drinking water)
  58. Fire Alarm (what’s the emergency?)
  59. Morning Ritual (in my father’s house)
  60. Trip with My Dad (Fear and Loathing in Texas)
  61. Not Lake People (outdoor adventure)
  62. Dreaming In Code (my son)
  63. A Hunger Unquenched (battle mountain)
  64. Fern (is an adult)
  65. His Dad Was Different (and alive)
  66. Hot Tub in the Rain (plateau of hope)
  67. Year In Rock Challenge (my life)
  68. War 3.0 (nanO)
  69. Blood Lust (thanksgiving)
  70. The Beautiful Rao
  71. Seeing it Through to the End
  72. Wrestling Ghosts
  73. Cold Dead Hands
  74. A Glass of Ennui

words, language and innovationin progress

*do you think that missing Oxford comma is going to anger some?

< back to McElhenney.net

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