On Writing Short Shorts

If writing a story that’s only 100 words, or even 1,000 words, sounds easy, I encourage you to try it.

I’m not being snarky. It might actually be a fun exercise. Though you might find it harder than it seems.

In only those few words, try to cram a plot line with a distinct beginning, middle, and end, and some genuine character development.

You’ll need to balance leaving out enough to keep your word count low, without leaving out crucial information whose absence will confuse your reader.

That will probably mean skipping much of the buildup and atmosphere that writers usually rely upon, and getting straight to the heart of what you want to say.

So you’ll have to know exactly what you want to say. I’ve found that when my stories fall flat, it’s usually because I don’t have this clearly in mind.

Want to up the ante? Do all that while avoiding clichés and tropes.

Whew. That’s a tall order. (Or a short one, rather.)

You might find the challenge exciting. I did. That’s why I keep writing more of them.

This website is replete with my attempts at this. Hopefully they will get better with practice.

Any feedback is appreciated, especially on parts that really don’t work, or really do work well, so that I can learn and grow as a writer.


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