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Synonyms: ficlet, snippet
See also: drabble, flash fiction, short short
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A vignette is a short piece of fanfic, but not of a rigid length such as a drabble. A vignette usually consists just of a single scene. One fan defines it as "a brief (500 to 1000 words) literary work, characterized by precision and delicacy of composition, usually descriptive of scene, manners or character." [1]

How common the term is varies between fandoms: In X-Files fandom it is one of the classifications used by Gossamer, so it is very common there, as well as in older print zines where vignettes are often discussed. In other fandoms, terms like snippet or ficlet are more common.

The graphic design meaning of vignette (for a decoration element between sections of a text and borders and the like) is not often seen in fandom, even though many fanzines have such elements and some web-formatted stories use graphic chapter breaks too. The professional literary definition of vignette, which is a short story consisting of a single, non-action scene, informs fannish usage. However, the focus in fandom seems more on the length of the piece, whereas the professional literary definition arose out of the static nature of the work.


  1. ^ from a review of Skywalker #6 as it was discussed in Jundland Wastes #13 in 1983