How the story starts

For publication. Horror stories. Two sentences.

Someone on the Book of Face linked me to this one: 20 Terrifying Two-Sentence Horror Stories

As an occasional flash fiction writer, I found the concept intriguing, even though I’m not usually a fan or horror.  Most of them are a bit trite, but a couple give that frisson that heralds both a good story and good horror.  On reflection, I think these are the ones that read like the opening of a story … showing, not telling.

It could well be argued that most of my flash fiction is largely openings to stories … or at most hint at the shape of a story without actually wrapping it up.  The few that don’t (say “If This Were A Fairy Tale“) are, arguably, some of the better ones.

Or it could be argued that the open-endedness works really well for horror flash fiction (say “The Volunteer“).

As I was thinking about which of the two-sentence horror stories worked best, I found myself wondering about the possibility of writing science fiction stories in two sentences.  Would it even be possible to write a good one, without stumbling on the world-building (or universe-building) that comes with so much science fiction?

The idea is in the back of my mind lately, because I’ve been following The Ferrett’s current project of evaluating the opening chapters of 20 books to see how they integrate world-building.  These are all books he’s read before, and so the evaluation is in the context of knowing everything that comes after that opening chapter.  You can see the initial post at: How Can I Make These Opening Chapters Better? An Experiment and he’s posted the first three in the series so far.

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