The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

A polished prison and 50-word sagas: blogging from the BlackBerry

with 10 comments

“Transformation”, my first attempt at a mini saga, has been published today on 50 Items or Less.

A mini saga is a story that has exactly 50 words. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a work of fiction or non-fiction, the key is to incorporate a beginning, middle and ending into the 50-word limit. It’s harder than it sounds, especially if you genuinely wish to fully engage your reader before the fiftieth word.

Personally, I love the way the succinct nakedness of the mini saga causes each reader to interpret its meaning subjectively. There’s no room for elaboration or plot development, so readers tend to fill in any blanks with images and feelings drawn from their own experiences and expectations.

A great mini saga should, in my opinion, make the reader continually reassess the words he or she is absorbing and question their meaning. It should leave them wanting full comprehension, even if that means rereading the piece a dozen times or asking the author for clarification; if someone has “had enough” of one of my mini sagas after reading it once, I’ve failed to engage them. I’ve failed to make my 50 words count.

“Transformation” can be found on 50 Items or Less by clicking here.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry on my BlackBerry Bold 9700

Written by disseminatedthought

February 22, 2012 at 16:20

10 Responses

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  1. YAY!


    February 22, 2012 at 16:26

  2. I’ve never head of this mini saga you speak of. Interesting concept though. I like the idea that it leaves the reader filling in the blanks.

    As for your mini saga, it gave me the eebie jeebies and made me wonder about the circumstances that led to the saga. I guess when I read your original description I had the thought that I’d be wanting to know what happened NEXT, as opposed to what led up to the event, who was smiling, and why.

    Good news. You’re successful at least once. 😀

    The Confluent Kitchen

    February 22, 2012 at 16:35

    • It’s a graphic, twisted look at a piece of bread’s journey to becoming toast. The person smiling was the one making the toast, and they were grinning because the bread’s transformation was complete.


      February 24, 2012 at 20:01

  3. Bravo!

    Cakes McCain

    February 22, 2012 at 19:51

  4. Lyndon’s mini saga is a prime example of just how powerful this format can be. His work will definitely provide you with the thought food you need to be inspired in your own endeavors.


    February 23, 2012 at 03:53

    • Thank you for publishing it on 50 Items or Less, and for your incredibly supportive feedback. Welcome to The Dissemination of Thought.


      February 24, 2012 at 19:56

  5. I read “Transformation”, and I don’t fully get it. As you said, mini sagas are interpreted subjectively. Your transformation sounds horribly painful (which is an understatement). I usually think of transformations as being good, like a catepillar turning into a butterfly. Although, while it seems like it’s a person who is smiling, maybe you are personifying alcohol.


    February 24, 2012 at 15:31

    • “Transformation” shares the internal dialogue of a piece of bread as it becomes burnt toast.


      February 24, 2012 at 19:54

      • Aha. I assumed the mini saga was YOUR transformation (but I didn’t think my interpretation was actually correct). I was WAY off base. I never would have guessed your mini saga was about a piece of bread becoming burnt toast, but I can definitely see that now. Thanks for taking the time to reply and enlighten me. Hopefully I didn’t offend you with my alcohol interpretation.


        February 25, 2012 at 22:34

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