Halrloprillalar (prillalar) wrote,


There are drabbles everywhere these days. I've written a bunch in the past month, read a whole lot more. Drabble communities are springing up like bean plants. Drabbles are a lot of fun without too much effort.

So, it's got me pondering: what makes a good drabble? Here's what works for me, anyhow.

A drabble needs detail. This may seem counter-intuitive because drabbles are so short. But when you've only got 100 or so words to make an impression, one or two sharp details can make a huge difference.

A drabble needs focus. That's pretty much a no-brainer. You can't fit everything into a drabble that you can into a three volume novel. So don't try.

A drabble needs a plot or at least a point. Something should happen, even if it's a small thing.

For me, anyhow, a drabble needs a punchline. Some sort of surprise or reversal at the end. There are exceptions, but I do find the drabbles I enjoy the most have a twist or unexpected ending.

A drabble should be complete. This doesn't mean you can't leave your audience wondering about what happens next, but even a short piece has a story arc and you've got to get to the end of it by the end of the drabble.

Here endeth the lecture.

I also sometimes feel like I should be writing something "real" instead of drabbles. Like I'm being lazy by working in that format. (Though of course I usually am working on something else at the same time.) Or that I'll become lazy. Certainly the work to feedback ratio is much more favourable for drabbles. *g*

Do you like drabbles? Do they bug you? Do they make writers lazy? Do they suck away all the good ideas that should actually be made into 10 000 word epics? Do they just suck?

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