(this is cross-posted on NewApps)
I have always wanted to have a paper in Analysis or Thought. A really neat, short, paper, that is self-contained and makes an substantive philosophical point. Unfortunately, I tend to write articles of about 8000-9000 words, and first drafts are typically even longer. I've written some pre-read papers for conferences of 3000 words, but to get all the nuances in, they typically expand to 8000 words or more once they reach the article stage. What does it take to write brief philosophy papers? More generally, what does it take to write concisely?
Flash fiction is a style of fiction of extreme brevity, 500 words or less, typically 100-150 words. One very brief example, attributed (probably falsely) to Ernest Hemingway goes as follows: "For sale: Baby shoes, never worn." Or take flash poetry. The Dutch poet Vondel wrote the shortest poem in Dutch, and probably in any language, "U, nu" (literally, "you now", or "now it's your turn"). It's also palindromic, and won him a poetry prize. How to write flash fiction? David Gaffney advises flash fiction authors to cut down on character development, and to jump right in the story. Place the denouement not at the end, but in the middle, that way you have some space left to ponder the implications of what has happened with your readers, and you avoid that your story reads like a joke, with a punchline at the end.
So how do you write really short philosophical pieces that are substantive pieces in their own right? Which brief philosophical self-contained pieces do you particularly admire?