What This Is
Ok: I’ve been writing 100 word stories (street name: drabbles) for about a year, infrequently and unevenly. They started as an experiment, then wove their way into a portfolio for a creative writing class, culminated in my editing of a one-off zine entitled Bullets that collected a couple dozen of the things, and finally became a once-in-a-while flex of the ol’ minific writing muscles. I’ve wanted to go back to them for a while, have toyed with the idea of reviving Bullets as a quarterly (or even monthly) concern, but have never managed to actually put all the pieces on the table and start building.
“Two Minutes Less a Third”, then, is (or rather, will be, shortly) a project and an exercise and an experiment, with the intention of building something, and of creating a healthy writing habit. It’s me trying to be a better writer, and editor, and storyteller, and I’m hoping it’ll be fun for everyone involved. That, or a grueling self-flagellation that’ll teach me to fuck with writing. Teach me but good.
In brief: every day, I’m going to try to write a one-hundred-words-exactly short story.
I would be a charlatan and a thief if I didn’t prostrate myself before the inspirations for the project. In the (exactly one-hundred word) introduction to Bullets, I attributed the idea for the zine to three things: an essay by Neil LaBute, “The Pleasures of Limitations,” which serves as the introduction to his short play cycle Autobahn; Ernest Hemingway (and, by extension, this Wired article) for his shortest story (“For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.”); and Neil Gaiman, for his story, “Nicolas Was…”, collected in Smoke and Mirrors, which was the first 100-word story I ever read.
More immediately, however, I can’t give enough credit to Brendan Adkins’s Ommatidia/Anacrusis, which is the clear and shining precedent for Two Minutes. The idea was his. I’m just borrowing it. (His About page points to several other inspirations, further proving that I’m standing on the shoulders of geniuses, and taking all the credit.)
Finally, the title: “Two Minutes Less a Third” is one-hundred seconds, and it should be about the time it takes for you to read one of the stories. And it sounds purty.
(This should be the only post on here that’s more than one-hundred words, unless I need to make an update or something.)