Saturday, October 06, 2007

Three Sentence Novels

I was book shopping in Kino in Singapore yesterday when I came across a reprint of a book by Fenelon. Apparently, Fenelon was writing three-sentences novels to the French newspaper for many years.

One day the publisher of the paper decided to compile and publish all his novels. The book was such a hit that it was translated into English (I believe by Penguin).


How about that. I shall do it slightly differently. I shall write a couple of three lines novels (thanks, pearlie for pointing this out). Here's one

It was a dark night. There was a loud cry and the sound of a body falling down the stairs. What's that, the wife cried out. That's my trousers falling down the stairs, the husband replied. "Why so noisy?" inquired the wife. "I was in them," replied the husband.

Or this

The farmer worked hard ploughing the dry soil. The seasons for planting and growing crops are short. Life is hard. Near the fields are the graves of his wife and children. Nevertheless the farmer gamely soldiered on. Terraforming Mars is difficult.

another one

The spaceship Enterprise shuttered as a pair of Klingon birds of prey fired on her. Their rescue mission had led the Enterprise into a trap. Commander Riker said, "I wanna go home." "Make it so," replied Captain Picard.


Anyone wants to contribute their three lines novels?

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13 Comments:

Blogger pearlie said...

3 sentences or 3 lines?

1:56 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi pearlie,

Thanks for pointing out this embarassing mistake. I meant 3 line novels to distinguish it from Fenelon's three sentence novel. :P

wanna try?

3:52 PM  
Blogger pearlie said...

I think I won't be able to sleep thinking tonight about it! We'l tomorrow if it'll be worth it! haha

9:36 PM  
Blogger pearlie said...

I mean - we'll see tomorrow...

9:37 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...

You were here in Singapore? Next time let me know. Bolivian Beat and me and Journeyman wouldn't mind meeting up for lunch or coffee.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi blogpastor,

that will be nice.

11:08 AM  
Blogger Kar Yong said...

Hmmm....for a talkative person like me...it would be very difficult to do a 3 lines novel...but perhaps I should try it once for my sermon.....

Pearlier, I am still waiting for your 3 lines....

7:42 PM  
Blogger Kar Yong said...

opps...I mean Pearlie...typo error...So sorry

7:42 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi kar yong,

I eagerly await your three line sermon.

He came.
He spoke.
He left.

11:45 PM  
Blogger pearlie said...

I have been blog-inactive for a couple of days and it feels like a whole year :)

I hadn't been thinking about the 3 line novel but to describe me, I think mine would be:
She came.
She pondered.
She disappeared!


Anyway this reminded me of what my husband told me once. The world's shortest (published, i think) novel is this one by Augusto Monterroso, El Dinosaurio('The Dinosaur').

Here it is, the whole thing:

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
("When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.")

How about it - just one line ;)

1:02 PM  
Anonymous blogpastor said...

Let me tell my impish novel in three lines: "The preacher always sermonized with the erudite air of one who understood the middle voice of Greek. The parishioners nodded with an air of attention and appreciation. The preacher put his last piece of luggage into his station-wagon and waved goodbye to very happy parishioners".

11:03 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi blogpastor,

That is so good for a three sentence novel. Great novel.

12:49 PM  
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