Five Line Fiction – Help or Hinder?

Once upon a time there was a writer. This writer was intrigued by a concept she’d recently discovered called “Five Line Fiction.” The idea is to create an entire story in a mere five lines. Not such a tough job if your name is William Faulkner. I once found ONE SENTENCE of his that was 1288 words long. Lots of commas, semi-colons and conjunctions, but any of my English teachers probably would have had a red pen field day with that line.

So five lines? Can you really tell a story in five sentences?

Sure. Why not? You can tell a tale in a 16 line sonnet or even in the 17 spare syllables of a haiku. Perhaps this is one challenge where my past training as a poet would come in handy. I haven’t yet tried the five sentence idea but I plan to. If nothing else it’s a great exercise for flexing my writing muscles and working on brevity. I’m pretty comfortable with writing in a concise fashion so I anticipate enjoying the effort.

What I’m really concerned about is connecting a five line tale up with something larger. If I can use this to build something larger or work through issues in other WIPs (work in process), great. If it’s yet another time sink, I don’t need it! Perhaps in the end, it’s up to me to make sure it’s a positive use of my time and energy. After all, I’m the only one I’ll hinder if I’m wasting my time.






About Diann Writes

Diann L. Tongco enjoys sketching, crafts and photography as well as writing poetry and novels. To stay out of trouble, she writes, shows curly-coated retrievers, grows fragrant roses, drinks good of wine with friends, and spends time with her grandchildren. She lives on Washington's Puget Sound with her boyfriend Nick and their dog Ozzy.
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One Response to Five Line Fiction – Help or Hinder?

  1. I think it’s a great exercise for the brain, kind of like haiku, but with fewer restrictions, perhaps, and more possibilities.

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