Monday, March 14, 2011

55 Word Stories (55oWriMo)

Here's a fun writing activity I learned in eighth grade.  It really makes you work hard to say a lot with very few words.  All you need to do is write a simple little story using 55 words, not counting the title.  No more, no less.  Bonus points for a cool twist at the end.

My example (which I'm particularly proud of, by the way):

Time Machine

“Next stop: the year 3000!”  Jimmy turned several dials.
“Here we go!” Mark shouted.
The machine shook, then stopped.  They stepped out.
“The future looks awesome!” commented Jimmy.
“Uh-oh…”
“What?”
“The machine is malfunctioning!  We’ll be stuck here forever!”
“Oh, well.  That was great anyway.  I haven’t played in a cardboard box for ten years.”

Notice how I used the title to my advantage.  The story hasn't even started, but you already have a sense for what's going on, leaving more words open for the actual story.  The key here is being concise and using each word to your advantage.  Good word choice is your friend.

 You may be thinking along the lines of Well, this is just poetry!  Easy!  No, it's not poetry.  Unless it's in dialogue, you have to use complete sentences and the general format must be the same as a normal story would be.  It's just a very short story. 

Just think.  You could write 909 of these babies instead of doing NaNoWriMo.  Someone should really do that.

I'd love to hear how this went for you, if you try it.  Post yours in the comments below!  Who knows...if I really like it, maybe you'll get a prize.  Like an iPad.  Or a virtual muffin.  Or maybe I'll just feature you on the next blog post.  Enjoy!

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