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What is a 50-Word Story? A Complete Introduction

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Over the years shorter forms of fiction have gained popularity.

We now have magazines that publish fifty-word stories. In comparison with the literary journals that publish short stories, it doesn’t look like much but with time the form will grow.

As we speak of literary magazines let’s not also forget contests for 50 word stories. These contests are increasing with time. Most of them are free to enter and offer exciting prices.

The form of the 50-word story is not as popular as short stories and flash fiction but when you compare it to six-word stories and hint fiction(25-word stories) it is fairly popular.

This blog post is more of an introduction to the 50-word form, answering some of the questions you have and linking to resources and other BlogPosts that provide in depth answers to your questions.

Can a short story be 50 words?

A short story can be in 50 words and give a character, sometimes more than one character, provide conflict and other features of a story within the constraints of fifty words.

It is a 50-word short story not because it is 50 words although that contributes to the name any piece of words could be 50 that doesn’t make it a 50-word story. What makes it a 50-word story is that in fifty words the writer gives a story that lives and breathes on its own.

What is a 50-word story?

A 50-word story as the name implies is a story that is told in exactly fifty words, no more no less. This story still has the characteristics of fiction like character (s), conflict, plot, etc.

What is a 50-word story called?

A 50-word story is also known as a dribble.

How long is a 50-word story?

In terms of words, we know that it is 50 words from the name 50 word.

To get an estimate of the average of the character length, paragraph, and sentence for a fifty-word story, I decided to take an average of ten 50 word stories.

A 50-word story had an average of 287.6 characters,5.4 sentences, and 2.9 paragraphs in length.

How long does it take to read a 50-word story?

The reading time depends on your average reading speed but if we use the average reading speed which is 250 words per minute, it means a 50-word story takes 12 seconds to read.

How long does it take to write a 50-word story

When it comes to determining the time it takes to write a 50-word story there are stages of writing to consider. The ideation stage can take from seconds to as long as the idea takes to form.

Editing might take as much time until the editor( writer) deems it fit to send out for publication.

Do not think since it is a 50-word story it can not take much time.

Having given this note on the varying time it takes to write a 50-word story let’s consider the writing time for the first draft.

If we take the average word per minute ( typing) to be 40 words and consider time for the plot and other miscellaneous it brings the writing time to be 1 minute 25 seconds and up to five minutes.

The average words per minute for handwriting is around 13 words which means that a 50-word story would take 3 minutes 50 seconds.

Is a 50-word story popular?

When answering a question on whether the 50-word story is popular there are two ways of answering it.

  • First, tell you whether it is popular or not and move on.
  • Second, show you the data and allow you to decide how popular it is. I could also add an objective interpretation of the data to guide you.

The sources of the data

  • Google trends gives an idea of the trend of a search Term and topic based on the searches done on Google.
  • Keyword tools: these tools provide an estimate based on a wide variety of sources on how many times people search a particular keyword like “50-word story per month”. I would use Uberuggest, Moz, Semrush 

From the average of the keyword research tools, 50-word story as a term and the combination of other related searches related to 50-word story gives 1000 searches per month.

Another data to consider is the circulation of literary magazines publishing 50 word stories. The magazines have to solely publish 50 word stories else the data will be skewed.

If the website publishes poetry, short stories, and other forms of creative writing we would provide the data of persons interested in 50 words and the other creative writing.

Fifty-word stories get an estimated 3029 monthly visits.

From experience, these tools underestimate the traffic, so I expect the actual number to be way higher.

Considering the data available we can say that 50-word stories genre it’s is growing in popularity though not as popular when compared to other genres like flash fiction and short story.

Examples of Fifty-word Stories

To give an example of good 50 word stories here are three examples to check out.

Also a link to a complete list of even more examples.

1. My Father, the strongman by Bob Thurber

 This is the story of a man digging his own grave.

First-line

Naturally, he insisted on digging his own grave.

Read more fifty word stories

2. . Thunderclap by Sarah Scott

The story was published in June 2015.

This story has two characters.

It is the story of a character preparing for a struggle with second cancer.

First-line

“Lightning never strikes twice”

Read more on fifty-word stories

3. New Year’s Resolution by Mary Steer

Published December 2015. I like the approach to the story. This is an instructional piece on winning the new year turned into a story.

It has two characters.

First-line

Do everything differently from last year.

Read more on fiftywordstories

Related: 15 Vivid Examples of 50 Word Stories.

Conclusion

More writers are adopting the 50-word story form. Experimenting and exploring leads to the creation of a variety of stories that surprise us. Growing above what we ever thought could be done with fifty words.

Writer’s need no longer cut out months of uninterrupted time to write a novel to become a valid writer. With the little scraps of time from your busy life, you can create a gem of fiction called a 50-word story.

Readers are not left behind as more people are reading 50-word stories and enjoying the form as it develops.

Writers are publishing collections of 50 word stories into a book form for readers.

Note: As I find new data and interesting resources I would update this page, do bookmark it or join my email list to get notified when I do so.

Are you a reader or writer of 50-word stories? I would love to know.

For me, I am both a reader and writer of fifty-word stories.

Do you have any questions? 

I would love to answer them. Drop them in the comments section.


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By Onyemechi Nwakonam

Hi ,I write poetry and short prose. I am excited to help you organise your writing journey.

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