Ready for another break? This exercise is ‘easier’ than writing a 5,000 word story, only because it takes a little less time. It does, however, take a lot more time than any average 100 words in the middle of a longer story.
Crafting a complete story in 100 words is not easy. It is, however, quite satisfying.
Write a story in exactly 100 words
- Super-short stories have to pack an emotional punch in very few words. Concentrate on one moment, one incident, that holds huge significance for a character: the moment they first made eye contact with their baby; seeing the first crocus of spring after a hideous winter full of drama and despair; standing on stage in the moment of silence before the applause starts…
- You’ll want to save the majority of your words for the build-up to the climax. Think about how many words you can afford to spend setting the scene (maybe 25?) and how many you want for the resolution (10?). Can you create a resonant story in 65 words?
- Choose adjectives carefully. You don’t have much room.
- Make words do double duty. Instead of saying ‘he walked across the room, shaking with rage’, say ‘he stalked away’, saving five words.
- Don’t feel you have to hit 100 words on the first pass. Write the story, then go back through and intensify things by making your verbs more active and pruning as much dead wood as you can.
- Imply as much as you can. Leave gaps. Let the reader work a bit.