About time I wrote another one of these. Today we’re going to delve into the concept of micropastas!
A lot of the micropastas you see get deleted, many times right off the bat. Many of them are completely pointless and anticlimactic, or they’re something that if you tacked “And then a skeleton popped out” on the end, it would be a trollpasta.
I generally really touchy with micropastas, but I’m not going to delete them if they’re good. Here’s something to help make them so.
A lot of people have said micropastas aren’t “plot-driven” or don’t need a plot due to their length. What is a micropasta, though? A story that is shorter than 300 words, if I’m not mistaken.
Stories have to have a plot. It’s not a story if there isn’t one, and that applies to these as well. The events that are in it may be minor, but it’s still a plot.
Basically, you can’t describe a terrible event with imagery and only use that singular event. Other events have to happen as well. A story is basically a cause-and-effect type thing. Take Mother’s Call, for example.
“A young girl is playing in her bedroom when she hears her mother call to her from the kitchen, so she runs downstairs to meet her mother.
As she's running through the hallway, the door to the cupboard under the stairs opens, and a hand reaches out and pulls her in. It's her mother. She whispers to her child, "Don't go into the kitchen. I heard it too.””
See there? That is a micropasta. And it has a plot. Young girl playing – Hears mother calling – Goes to find her – gets pulled into cupboard – Mother tells her not to go into the kitchen because she heard the calling too. That is a plot. Not a descriptive paragraph of the being or thing in the kitchen, but a plot. You need that.
On that note, it needs to be more than two events. A descriptive paragraph about the sun exploding or a nuclear apocalypse and then everybody dying isn’t a story. It’s an event and result. That’s not a story. It doesn’t leave anything to the imagination and nothing good enough happened to make the reader think.
Description and Imagery!
In a micropasta, there isn’t much room for description and imagery, and such. Your events need to be less descriptive and your plot clear, concise, and uninterrupted. The goal is basically to use as few words as possible to get your point across.
That isn’t to say creative wording isn’t welcome; don’t make your sentences excessively bland. There’s no feeling in it, which is hard to capture in these kind of stories.
But when it comes down to it, there isn’t room for excess description in micropastas. Description is like a grounded plug in. You can plug it into a lot of stuff, but it doesn’t fit in to two-pronged receptacles. Micropastas are basically that.
Suspense and Mystery
What’s the best way to get a reader to think on your point? Making it mysterious or suspenseful, of course. This is most commonly through build-up, but in a micropasta, you don’t have the word-count to do that.
So how do you do it? You basically tell nothing about an element, yet still make the element a part of the story. Look at the micro I used as an example above. See how they say absolutely nothing about the thing in the kitchen? That can be anything. A being, a ghost, your great grandmother, the possibilities are endless.
Basically, don’t be afraid to leave something out for a sense of wonder. Just make sure you do it right. If it’s around a being or something, don’t tell about it. Imply that it’s there, but don’t blow it out of the water.
Feel free to add to this. I’m generally very picky with micro-pastas so I tend not to go into a lot of detail with them. I also find it a tad difficult to say a lot about them, due primarily to their length. There literally isn’t much to tell about them.