Bad Astronomy

NanoWeen Stories

I used to dabble in writing fiction when I was younger, and really enjoyed it. I’ve had some interesting ideas filed away for years now, and then, in 2009, Wil Wheaton wrote about a site called Ficly, which inspired me to cold-start my fiction chops. Ficly only allows you to write micro-stories, with a total of 1024 characters (that is, letters, numbers, and punctuation; not story characters). That limit of only a few hundred words can really hone your skills! I had a lot of fun writing a couple of stories on Ficly called Deep, and Random Walk (the second of which is good for Halloween, though they’re both on the eerie side).

This morning, I was reading Twitter and suddenly wondered if it were possible to write even shorter stories. Twitter stories! They would have to be very short – duh – but still imply some story behind them. And this being Halloween, they had to be creepy. So I wrote one, gave it the hashtag #NanoWeenStories, and posted it:

I know, it’s a bit silly and tongue-in-cheek. But after posting it, I started thinking about this more, and realized it really could be fun. So I posted some more:

See? There’s an implied back story there, without any real set up or detail. I realized this was way too much fun, so I kept going:




The next thing I knew, a bunch of other folks started writing their own, too. A lot of those are really good, so if you have some time between doorbells, check them out.

I’m currently suffering from what I call “typewriter key jam”, named for the condition when you hit too many typewriter keys at once and they all stick together: I have too many ideas to write, and they’re all stuck. I need to pick one and go. But in the meantime, these nanostories are a great way to keep the fingers busy.

Hmmm, busy fingers. I bet I can use that…