[Writing Prompt] Limit Yourself To 100 Words


One of the first internet-era writing challenges I ever attempted was over at 100words.net . The challenge was to write 100 words (exactly) every day for a month (I think the brain behind the idea originally did it for 100 days, but by the time I discovered the challenge it was a calendar month).

It was hard, but it was freeing too. And it was my experience with those limitations (and the rhythm of writing every day for a month) that set me thinking about my own StoryADay challenge, years later.

The Prompt

Write 100 words. Exactly 100.


  • It can be helpful to think of this as an exercise, not a story
  • Start with an experience of your own. As you whittle your words and ideas down to exactly 100, you will inevitably be creating fiction.
  • 100 words isn’t much. You don’t have room for traditional story structure, or to worry about all those writing rules you’ve been working to absorb. Just write.
  • If you need a more specific prompt, write about something you did yesterday morning. Give me details, colors, emotion.


Oh, and thanks to everyone who left comments or got in touch about the five-a-week prompts in September. The deal was that someone who commented would win a copy of my Time To Write Workshop. And (drumroll please) the winner is: Sarah Cain!! (I used the random number generator at Random.org — and got ridiculously excited waiting for the winning number to appear! Congrats Sarah. Hope it helps!

One thought on “[Writing Prompt] Limit Yourself To 100 Words”

  1. I remember 100 words.net…it was a great way to stretch and get in a warm up lap. Even if I wrote nothing else that day, I could at least say I’d hammered out that little piece. So, I know its 2 weeks late but I gotta, for old times sake, toss this into the bin…

    The fog rolled in last week, settled comfortably and does not seem inclined to leave. The people in the city awake to find their world reduced to a few houses on either side and the shadow of a house across the street.
    Sound penetrates a little further but is strangled into silence before reaching the end of the block. All that comes back is a distant, mournful horn warning ships away from these shores.
    At night it comes in even closer, scattering light and throwing a shroud of grey over the street. A tunnel of damp and silence and insecurity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The StoryADay

I, WRITER Course


A 6-part journey through the short story.

Starts July 28, 2023