A few definitions may be useful to readers of this blog. These are not intended to be definitive or complete but I find then useful for categorising my writing and providing the tags/labels.

Flash Fiction

Flash Fiction is ideally suited to the internet as it is roughly equivalent to a blog post length. It is a sort of quick bite sized read that can be completed in a short break. So it has to be reasonably brief: say, between 100 and 1,000 words, though no hard and fast rules apply here, some of my stories tip over either end of this boundary. In contrast I think of a short story as having between 1,000 and 10,000 words. Flash fiction, like any other fiction, should have all the attributes of story telling. Including such attributes as a beginning, middle and end along with any other twiddly bits required – it is short rather then deformed.

Micro Fiction

Micro Fiction I see as having less than 100 words, though it could also be seen as a super short sub-genre of flash fiction.

N Fiction

This is flash fiction with a specific word count. The 'N' being replaced by some specific number. Word counts (or replacement 'N's) I have seen include: 30, 50, 100 and 150. A few pieces on this blog have exactly 12 words with a single word title. These kinds of word counts mean we often also classify these pieces as Micro Fiction.

Fibonacci Poems

A useful way of understanding Fibonacci Poems is to see them as a modern equivalent to the Haiku. A Haiku has lines of a specific syllable count (usually: 5-7-5 symbols) where as a Fibonacci Poem has lines with a syllable count based upon the Fibonacci Sequence. Haiku tend to be about nature; though, obviously, they can be on any subject. Fibonacci Poems tend to be on a SiFi or modern subject; though again they can be about any subject.

The Fibonacci Sequence of numbers are named after Leonardo Pisano Bogollo, (c. 1170 – c. 1250) who is more widely known as Leonardo Fibonacci and is widely credited with introducing this sequence into Europe. The series looks like the following set of numbers:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, 233, 377, 610, 987, 1597, 2584, 4181, 6765...
The following example shows how the Fibonacci Sequence is constructed:
  • 0 - We simply define the first two numbers for our sequence. After all we have to start somewhere.
  • 1 - See above.
  • 1 - From the third number on we add the two previous numbers in the sequence together (that's why we needed to define our starting numbers). So the third element will be: 1 = 1 + 0.
  • 2 - As above, so the fourth element will be: 2 = 1 + 1.
  • 3 - Yet again as above, so the fifth element will be 3 = 2 + 1.
  • 5 - There is a lot more of this.
  • n(t) - In general the t'th element will be: n(t) = n(t – 1) + n(t – 2)
And so on forever. Further down the sequence the numbers can become big and then very big indeed.

Fibonacci Poetry is a form of six line poetry based upon the Fibonacci Sequence. The syllable count for each line follows the beginning of the sequence: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. We disregard the initial zero as its difficult to have a line with zero syllables on it; though I like to think of it being an implicit part of the poem – a sort of John Cage silent moment. Logically the poem could go on for ever. As this could become somewhat tedious it is conventional to have only six lines, so the final line has eight syllables. If the poem has exactly six lines we end up with twenty syllables all together.

The following example is designed to show the structure of a Fibonacci Poem rather than being a particularly good poem. Each line states the number of syllables it contains.
Two, two.
Three, three, three.
Five, five, five, five, five.
Eight, eight, eight, eight, eight, eight, eight, eight.
This is the conventional form of a Fibonacci Poem but, of course, you can play around with the syllable patterns for your lines. It is easiest if we give some examples.
Verse 1 with 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 syllables on each line
Verse 2 with 8, 5, 3, 2, 1, 1 syllables on each line
Here the second verse has a retrograde syllable count for each line. Another example:
Verse 1 with 1 syllable on a line
Verse 2 with 1 syllable on a line
Verse 3 with 1, 1 syllable on each line
Verse 4 with 1, 1, 2 syllables on each line
Verse 5 with 1, 1, 2, 3, 5 syllables on each line
Verse 6 with 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 syllables on each line
Here the number of lines in each verse is also based upon the Fibonacci Sequence. And for our last example:
Verse 1 with 1, 1, 2 syllables on each line
Verse 2 with 5, 3, 2 syllables on each line
Verse 3 with 2, 3, 5 syllables on each line
Verse 4 with 2, 1, 1 syllables on each line
Here we have a mixture of incomplete and retrograde patterns. The possible syllable pattern for a poem is endless and our only limit is the human imagination. In fact any numeric sequence could be used as the basis for a poem.

I have found Li Bo's text inspector to be useful for counting syllables – and it's free. Of the online apps that count syllables this one seems to be the most accurate and presents the results in a useful form. Though, of course, no application of this kind is perfect.