Flash Fiction Challenge: The Editor Letter

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Your humble host

Recently, a friend received the comments from her editor, which she reluctantly shared with me after I pried the wrist-bound razor blade from her hand.

Yes, it was harsh in places – but not necessarily inaccurate in some of its suggestions. And to think she paid for the privilege of being told she is unworthy to walk the Earth as anything more than a Costco employee. (Hey, nothing against Costco; they get holidays off.)

In fact, I liked some of the ideas put forth in the Editor Letter. But I thought a lot of it was borderline boilerplate and could be said about any book and the author would agree.

Like I could tell 100% of writers it needs some tightening and in some places they need to improve the pace. 100% would agree.

Until your story is edited to 3 words long, everyone will agree it can be tighter.

Three words: They all died.


Everybody died.

You’ve just been EditorLettered.

Consider an alternate ending.

Two words. Everybody survived.

Romeo and Juliet in 3 words: Almost everyone dies.

Maybe that should be a flash fiction challenge. Take your favorite book and EditorLetter it to 3 words.

Bridges Of Madison County, EditorLettered to 3 words: he leaves her

Could be tighter: she cheated

The editor goes crazy. Emails back: “I love that. Could be tighter, though. Can we improve the pace just a little more?”




This is the future of American literature. Postage stamp books.

Twitter’s too long. Who has time for a 144-character story?

Not me! I’m too busy ordering skinny coffee drinks! (See Unimpressed Shark 2 post)

Cover to cover faster than you can microwave a burrito, that’s the new author’s goal.

Adverbs are already taboo. Adjectives can’t be far behind. And articles? Please. Don’t get me started.

American-ese needs to go article free. Like the Indians did in westerns.

Me hunt. You go.


And who needs proper nouns?

Complete waste of time

In fact, nouns in general are probably offense to somebody these days. He? She? We can go tighter.

Let’s just use E.

And since E is now for everyone, we don’t need it at all.

Hunt. Go.

Works fine.

I think we’re *this close* to inventing a new language. One based on single letters and the occasional emoji.

Grunting may return. Maybe the cave men were onto something. Like the paleo diet, we need a paleo language. Just grunts and basic emojis.

Emojis = modern-day hieroglyphics

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No need for words at all. Everybody can just shut the fuck up. I’d prefer that, actually.

Our future will be run with emojis and gifs


I was thinking this could be a blog post but it kinda went off in a weird direction.

When did it veer away from blog post material?

Good point.

I mean, 00 thumbs up.jpg




Embrace the new reality.

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

USA Today bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 50+ titles published in more than 120 countries and over a dozen languages.

38 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: The Editor Letter

  1. This doesn’t work, some people want more sex in their books and that can’t be done tastefully in three words! (mentioning no names!)

    How about…

    “The condom split.” In any politically correct book you like?!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t even want to write a three-word story. I just want to read, over and over again: “No need for words at all. Everybody can just shut the fuck up. I’d prefer that, actually. Our future will be run with emojis and gifs.”

    Or maybe I just REALLY need that second cup of coffee.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Let’s just cut to the chase. All stories end the same, so let’s simply whittle down the story to two words: The End. For those with sequels: Will Continue.

    There then is the end of all tomes, opium (plural of opus), and epics. Circle the word that doesn’t fit in the previous sentence (a tangential exercise).

    Liked by 2 people

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