(Always avoid alliteration…)
One of my favorite writing exercises, albeit one from which I enjoy the occasional extended hiatus, is the 100 Word Story. As you will not be surprised to learn, one of my challenges as a writer is shutting the hell up about this over here and that over there and getting down to the business of telling the dang story already. Micro fiction is something of a trial for a writer like I (as Lorelei Lee might have said), but is a great opportunity to practice whittling down the noise and the fripperie into What I Am Trying To Say. So the challenge, of course (besides not overusing words like “challenge”) is to tell your story, or your snippet, anyway, in 100 words exactly — not 101, not 99. It is a widely celebrated, if arbitrarily selected, Micro Fiction genre, and one to which writers of no less an impressive stature than, for example, this one have devoted entire (if neglected) Tumblrs.
Something I’m celebrating today besides the 100 Word Story itself is the fact that I have actually sat and put fingers to keyboard, for the first time in a while, and started crafting something that can (finally!) lay claim to the title Work in Progress (as opposed to a Tedious Edit or an Idea That Just Sits There Going Nowhere While I Watch TV). To date, the story has only come to me in broad strokes, and I’m not sure yet where it will end up, but I do know where it starts, and when my opening paragraph clocked in, quite by accident, at 100 words exactly, I felt compelled to share.
Give one a try. I find boys super effective 100 Word prompts, and I can usually scrape together 100 words about food — there’s at least one on that dusty old Tumblr that’s inspired by both. Remember to use your hyphens like a madman to manipulate your count, and heck, maybe check back here every once in a while in case I manage to wring out 100 more share-worthy words from time to time.
From today’s newborn, and as yet untitled, WIP:
The rickety lean-to club under the train tracks is drenched in the glittering raindrop refractions of blue spotlight off blue sequins. The lyrics of September in the Rain, swinging with a nostalgia only Dinah Washington could imbue, nudge some to reach for the little umbrellas they imagine adorn their cocktails. No one is disappointed, though, at the lack of fruity drinks or paper garnishes; it’s not actual rain, after all. Cheap beer and plenty of it has made The Crossing famous, and the sticky tables-for-one overflow with empties-for-three; when you drink to forget, pineapple juice just gets in the way.
A fan of short fiction? Learn all about my next short release here, and make plans to buy it on March 10th!