If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that every week I participate in a writing group called Friday Fictioneers. It is a challenge to write a 100-word story around a photo prompt. I also often do a similar thing on Sundays, called Sunday Photo Fiction, run by Al Forbes.
These aren’t the only ones out there, by far. There are challenges to write 33-word stories, haibun (prose + haiku), even six-word stories. In that spirit, I have come up with some other writing challenges.
Write a complete story with conflict and plot development in one word.
The Time Billy Replaced All the Thanksgiving Candles with Firecrackers
2. The Little Word Challenge.
Write a story with words no longer than 3 letters.
My Pig Was Sad
I had a pig, Joe. Joe was sad. He saw me and my new gun. I put Joe and my new gun in my bag. We ran to the bus. At the end of the day, I ate ham. Joe was not a bad pig, but he’s not sad now. Now he’s a yum pig.
3. The Alphabet Trainers.
You must write a 26-word story, in alphabetical order by first letter.
A Beautiful Cat
A beautiful cat dodged Ernie’s fist.
“Gotcha!” he interjected joyously. “Kill little mice now!”
Ophelia proffered Quentin’s red sweater. “Tight underneath?”
“Very warm!” Xavier yelled zealously.
4. The Punctuators.
The challenge is to write a story, then take out everything but the punctuation. It’s up to the reader to fill in the blanks.
March 14th, 2014 at 11:37 pm
And you could always prompt with just the punctuation and we have to fill in the story. Although, I prefer the reader doing all the work.
March 15th, 2014 at 12:15 am
I was imagining a huge fight with all those exclamation marks in a row. Or it could be surprise, I guess.
March 15th, 2014 at 1:05 am
I was imagining a fight too, haha. A hilarious sex story also went through my head, but shhh.
March 15th, 2014 at 12:06 am
LOL I would wrack my brain and go crazy coming up with ones that worked and fit and still made sense, but they do present a good challenge.
March 15th, 2014 at 12:16 am
I would go crazy too, trying to do these too often. I just made them as a joke, although it was fun coming up with the examples
March 15th, 2014 at 12:21 am
It really works the brain which is good for anyone and especially us ‘older’ ones who work harder to keep ours as sharp as possible and not loose what is up there. 🙂 Writing everyday and working on my current (writing) projects really helps I think.
March 17th, 2014 at 10:20 pm
It is good mental exercise. I plan to never stop writing. Hopefully they’ll have mental typing by the time I’m in a nursing home, so I can just think the words onto the screen. 🙂
March 15th, 2014 at 1:26 am
These are great ideas. The Punctuators seems really challenging. Do you students do any of these? I was curious how younger kids did with these?
March 15th, 2014 at 7:26 am
No, my students are usually way too low level to do any real writing. Plus these are more just jokes anyway. 🙂 Yes, the Punctuators would be challenging, impossibly so, I think.
March 15th, 2014 at 7:33 am
Ha ha! I thought they were real! You fooled me.
March 15th, 2014 at 8:16 am
They could be real, if you want. 🙂 They might be a bit restrictive to write many of, though. Let me know if you ever try any. 🙂
March 17th, 2014 at 4:10 am
Okay. Well, you did a fine job, which is why I treated them as real. 🙂
March 15th, 2014 at 10:23 am
This is great. Here’s my one word story titled “That day I jumped out of a plane and my chute wouldn’t open”: F**********************************************************************************CK!!
March 17th, 2014 at 10:18 pm
That really made me laugh. That story would have a lot of built-in conflict and emotion. You should get it published. 🙂
March 15th, 2014 at 3:28 pm
these are wittiest and most enjoyable suggestions… I think I am going to try it and will submit mine 🙂 but next week, the alphabetical may take a little practicing.
March 15th, 2014 at 3:55 pm
Awesome, do it! I’d love to read it.
March 15th, 2014 at 6:13 pm
i certainly will, prompts are quite intriguing
March 15th, 2014 at 9:19 pm
You’ve heard of the six word story right?
March 17th, 2014 at 10:17 pm
Yeah, I mentioned in here or do you mean Hemingway’s. Have you tried writing one? I think it would be rather hard.
April 13th, 2014 at 1:44 am
That Xavier is a well-considered character. Brief, maybe, but well-considered. No matter how short the story, he’ll always be zealous!
All I can hear with the punctuation exercise is a teenager on the phone — a lot of “OMIGAWD-I-know-right?!”
April 13th, 2014 at 12:13 pm
I’d like to see someone reading a page of punctuation, silently filling in their own story. 🙂