Write A Drabble Today

Don’t expect this to be a super-quick exercise…

Today you’re going to write a were a story in 100 words. This also known as a Drabble.

The Prompt

Write a story in 100 words

  • With a story this short, you have about 25 words to open the story and about 10 words at the end to wrap things up. The rest of the words hold the meat of the story.
  • Often it’s easier to write the story a little longer and cut it down.
  • Being concise doesn’t mean leaving out detail. You just have to make sure (probably on a rewrite) that every word is doing double duty. If you’re describing something make sure it reflects the mood of the character as well, for example.
  • Don’t expect this to be a super-quick exercise. A hundred words is not many and it can be difficult to shoehorn a story into such a small space. You are going to need to build in time to revise it.
  • The good news is that writing a 100 word story and revising it still takes less time than writing a 3,000 word story.
  • If you need some inspiration check out the site 100 Word Story. Read a few to get the idea of what can be done with so few words.

Go!

Post a comment to let us know how you’re getting on, share your story, share tips or ask for help!

32 thoughts on “Write A Drabble Today”

  1. I LOVED this one. It is indeed much harder to write something shorter. Here’s my attempt, combining both prompts:

    An encounter of eyes at the traffic lights, peripheral chaos as the policemen in ill-fitting pale yellow visibility vests sought to restore the power. The two cars pass, as if scheduled.
    Much earlier that morning, while showering, he lowered his head to massage shampoo into his hair. Something pushed against instinct and the patterns of over a decade. Instead, he stood tall and opened his eyes. A patchy lathered version of his head in the glass reflection. Water relentlessly beating down. Who is this person?
    Her glance, confirming his dislocation. Car leather sweaty in the sunshine. Everything must go.

  2. I love flash fiction. I ended up with mostly talking heads, so I need to look at how to get more detail in. I didn’t count the title in the word count.

    On the Train

    “It never goes away,” she said through her fingers.

    Jeff looked up from the sports page. “What?”

    The carriage rocked as the landscape rushed by.

    “The pain,” she said. “It never goes away. First Dad and now Mum.”

    “You don’t know that.” Jeff looked regretfully at the paper then put it down. “The hospital said-”

    “They don’t tell you to come unless it’s urgent.”

    Jeff put his arm round her shoulder. “I’m sorry, Love.”

    “I don’t think I can do this.”

    “You know I’m here for you.”

    She wiped her eyes. It wasn’t enough but it would have to do.

  3. Childhood
    By Tovli

    It started when the roof began leaking. Water seeped into every corner. The walls blistered and the carpet became a marsh. Even the fish tank leaked. We couldn’t save our beautiful Angelfish and the entire house smelled like a dead pond.

    Every tragedy has a solution, so we lit incense and sprinkled Patchouli oil on the walls. In the end, we simply stopped inviting friends over.

    When we grew up and had homes of our own, we filled the rooms with aquariums and colorful fish that danced through water and could never die.

  4. Hundred-word poems are kind of an obsession of mine. Even published a collection of them. So I was thrilled to see this prompt. Add in the last line of the novel I’ve read twice a year for almost 20 years, “The Sun Also Rises,” and I was hooked to use both prompts.

    The result is Fiddleneck, http://wp.me/p1AR9N-2J6

  5. I loved this prompt. I’m not sure how Maurice Sendak would have felt about what I did with one of my favorite-ever endings, “And it was still hot,” and I think it does want some finessing. But still, this was fun, and I think it captures a moment in the life of two characters that I hadn’t seen clearly till now, so I call that a win! I combined with the drabble prompt, and got this.

    https://shanjeniah.com/2016/05/03/chance-encounter-stad-kifo-project-for-may-3/

  6. I have tried such a prompt for the first time…te I hope the result is quite decent…

    He sprang from his pillow and, barely regaining his consciousness from the deep sleep, he realised he wasn’t in his bed. He looked at himself. He was naked in a dark place: alone but not alone. All he could sense was the intense smell of incense. “I must be dead” he whispered. “Are you?” a groundbreaking voice coloured the void. “If so, where are you now?” We go to nothing, he believed. “What is this voice? I t can’t be…”

  7. I used to love writing drabbles like these in fandom. I forgot how much skill it took to hit that word count straight on. Two characters from my current WIP, earlier in their history.

    *

    Alek darted from streetlight to streetlight alongside the silent city street, pulling Starr behind him.
    They left the motorcycle a few miles back. Gas costs money, and they ran out two towns ago.
    “Alek, I have to stop.”
    An empty alley beckons, where Starr collapses against the brick wall.
    “I can’t go any further.”
    He nods, thinking fast. He has enough money for the pay phone across the street.
    Once she’s asleep, he makes his move.
    “Shannon, come get your cousin.”
    Without another word, Alek slips away again.
    By the time Shannon figures out where they are, Alek is gone.

    1. This is what I love about short-short stories. So much is left out, implied, or left to the reader to supply. Well done, like this, it makes the reader work a little. Think about the characters. Wonder…

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