[Write On Wednesday] Playing With Form

Short stories are not mini-novels and they do not have to read as if they were. Part of the great fun of writing short stories is that we are free to tell a tale while breaking free from the tyranny of the three-act structure.

The Prompt

Write a story that does not follow a traditional narrative structure.

Write in diary excerpts or in list form, or as series of log entries, a Twitter conversation, word-association , stream of consciousness, whatever you can come up with.

Want to write a story as a series of letters? Do it! Want to tell the story backwards? Go for it! Feel like writing all-dialogue, or none? Fine!


  • Yesterday’s post about Neil Gaiman’s story “Orange” shows one intriguing way to do this
  • For inspiration, read Amanda Makepeace’s story “One Hour“, which was written in the form of several Twitter entries posted over the course of one hour.
  • Read this blog entries, which is mostly in the form of a list. Could you write a story that way? (Warning: contains painfully cute images of a baby!)
Bonus question: electronic media, with its insistence that readers be able to resize the text or display a piece on multiple devices, acts as a brake on ‘concrete’ literary forms (think: set fonts and sizes, words forming a shape on the page). Does this bother you?  Do you ever think about the form of the words on the page as you write? Leave a comment below.

The Rules:

1. You should use the prompt in your story.

2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.

3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.

4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my short story playing with form  #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-form

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is all about form #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-form

Come and write with us! #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-form

See my story – and write your own, today: Playing With Form #WriteOnWed #storyaday https://storyaday.org/wow-form

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