1000 Words or Less

Thursday, April 7, 2011
As any writer knows, many, many stories start and end in under a 1000 words. A character speaks to you. Or a setting comes to mind. And you start writing. But for some reason, the character only has that one thing to say. You don't know what comes next and maybe you have no desire to know.

I have hundreds of files on my computer and flash drive that are less than a 1000 words. And I love many of them. I just have no desire to write the rest of the story. That one scene was enough. I use to think it was such a waste of time and words, but now I look at those files as precious exercise---like a quick five-minute jog in the park. You get your heart racing, you stretch your muscles, and then you're done and you feel good and you go about your day. Not at all like the 28-mile marathon of a novel.

That quick jog is just as important as the marathon. Without it, your body wouldn't remember the way to move, to work the lungs, to keep the muscles limber.

So I made something with those words. Took them out, gave them a shake. And I love them all over again.
3 comments on "1000 Words or Less"
  1. Now I'm wondering what you made with those words ... A collage from printed lines? Some T-shirts with text describing hot guys? Short stories?

    Writing scenes does sound like a good exercise. I'll have to do more of that, because scenes come to me all the time, whether they have a whole story attached or not. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. I made a comic. A romantic comic, maybe? It isn't a comic in the traditional sense, obviously, but it's a series of graphic blocks that make a short story. So close to a comic! :)

    I really need to do more writing exercises. I'm thinking if I ever have the time, I might even take a writing class out at the college. I could learn a lot!

  3. A comic sounds cool, and a fun thing to do with those scenes.