Sliding into the past by tumbling through the present reality utilizing a crossing created in the future, we skidded into yesterday in a chaotic whirlwind.
Those we met stared at us like we were unholy demons from the under realms.
Their greeting went as anticipated.
Now we needed to escape!
What is a 50-Word Story?
A 50-word story is exactly what it sounds like; a piece of fiction written in precisely 50 words. No more, no less. As with any other form of fiction, a 50-word story has a beginning and an end. It can also have a plot and character development, and a theme, meaning, or purpose. Many 50-word stories are built around a twist or climactic moments.
It’s not necessarily easy to do, but writing a 50-word story is an interesting exercise for any writer to try, focusing on succinctness and clarity of writing. With just 50 words, there isn’t room for fluff.
How to be Brief
- Choose a prompt image and subject. When writing something as compact as microfiction or a 50-word story, it’s often easier to gather your thoughts through the use of an image that sparks your imagination.
- Consider your story. Consider the image and/or subject and allow your imagination to run free. What’s the first thought that comes to your mind when you look at the image? Where does it take you? What question(s) does it ask? Who’s involved?
- Write your story. When you’ve thought it through, start writing. Don’t get in the way of your story and don’t overthink your words, phrasing, grammar, or anything mechanical; just allow yourself to write. Once the story is drafted, you’ll have time to work on all those details.
- Refine and Polish. Now’s the time to put on your editor’s cap. Does the story have a storyline and at least one character? Does it have interest and impact on the reader? Does it prompt an emotional response of any kind? Now is the time to refine phrasing, reduce wordiness, and polish your prose to perfection.
- Be sure your story is 50 words exactly. A 50-word story doesn’t have 57 words or 49 or 85. It has 50. Period.
Just Walk Away
I suppose I should have said 6 steps, but 5 is such a nice clean number. Step 6 is really more like a suggestion, but one I suggest very strongly.
Put the story down and walk away.
Give it an hour, or two, or even a full day. Try not to keep writing in your head. The idea is to put it out of your mind. Why? So you can read it from a fresh perspective and see if it works or if it leaves you with more questions than answers.
Better yet, try it out on a few unsuspecting readers. Coworkers or family, work well or social media if possible. You’ll know right away if you can proceed to publishing or if it’s back to the drawing board.
Why Write Microfiction?
Writing exercises not only help make you a better writer, they boost your confidence and spark your imagination, teach you the mechanics of thought-clarification and succinct writing, and can expand your readership.
Give it a try. I know you can do it!
Beautiful original artwork by- Alissa Drake — ArtStation