A drabble is a story that is exactly a hundred words, according to LOTRiPS usage and Fannish Definitions. The word limit makes it a tight space and requires almost poetic restraint in words and images. It's really a moment, and the best ones are moments in which something happens, or is realized.
I didn't really get the point of drabbles until I had an IM discussion with Shaenie in spring, 2003.
MSilverstar: Is a drabble always 100 words?
Shaenie: supposed to be
MSilverstar: too short for me
Shaenie: although you can decide you're going to write 200 word drabbles or whatever, if you like
Shaenie: anything much longer than that is really a ficlet
MSilverstar: I was just gonna ask
MSilverstar: ficlets sounds good to me
Shaenie: the thing about drabbles is that they are v. structured
Shaenie: and challenging
Shaenie: fun to write
Shaenie: because you have to adhere to their guidelines and still make soemthing usefull from them.
MSilverstar: they remind me of haiku
Shaenie: yeah, exactly
MSilverstar: a lot of people can't get enough story into that space
Shaenie: i think sometimes people try to get too much story into it
Shaenie: drabbles aren't really about story
Shaenie: they're about moments
Shaenie: specific glimpses of a moment or a feeling or a mood
MSilverstar: Well then they go for the obvious moments instead of something special
Shaenie: you can do a story in a series of drabbles
Shaenie: but they are always fragmented, and leave a lot to the imagination
MSilverstar: I doubt I'll ever be very good at that
MSilverstar: but it's useful to keep trying
When she said "specific glimpses of a moment" it unlocked the form in my brain. And since then, I've written many drabbles. Thank you Shaenie!
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