A ficlet (also called a minific, short short, or quickfic) is a short fanfiction piece, usually five pages or less, or able to fit in the space of one post on a message board. The creation of ficlets covering an assigned theme are frequently called for in Iron Chef competitions on PPMB and SFMB. The maximum word count of a ficlet, if such a thing were to be set, would probably be 1,000-2,000 words, at the low end for short story length. Ficlets are often works of fluff, though not all ficlets are fluff, and vice versa.
A ficlet of 100 words or less is called a drabble. A ficlet of 200 words is called a double drabble.
Closely related to these written forms is the vignette, a very short tale taking place over a very short period of time. The vignette consists of one scene that offers insight into a character, setting, or concept. Some have called it a literary snapshot. A vignette does not have a plot as such. Its purpose is to offer meaning, not action or plot development. If a character is involved, internal dialogue might also be present. Drabbles are quite often vignettes.
Very short prose works such as the above are sometimes called flash fiction.
See novel for comparison.
- The Fanfiction Glossary (see drabble above for details)
- Flash Fiction entry on Wikipedia
- Vignette defined on Ashera's Archive
Excellent Ficlet Examples
- “Breakfast with Dad,” by Lawndale Stalker
- “A Date for Jerome,” by Lawndale Stalker
- “Graduation,” by Angelinhel
- "Hidden Values," by Medea42
- “The Life and Death of Stacy III,” by Kristen Bealer
- “Makeover,” by Lawndale Stalker
- "Soup's On," by Wyvern337
- “Thursday,” by Werechick
- "Transcript43685--9-3-00," by NomadX
- “Washington Biological Survey,” by Lawndale Stalker