A story in 100 words?

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a writing challenge. Well, other than that whole try to finish a final draft of an entire novel writing challenge thing. Still working on that.

Writing challenges are fun, but they’re also distracting as hell. This one, over at agent Janet Reid’s blog, I couldn’t resist. Maybe because of the “prize” — a mystery anthology with some of my favourite writers as contributors, edited by Lee Child.

Do I think I’ll win? Oh, please. There’s no way. First of all, contests over at Reid’s blog invariably attract a deluge of extremely talented writers. Really, go read the entries. And second, concise is just not my forte. I can barely say hello in 100 words, let alone tell an entire story with a beginning, middle and end. Best I can do is try to write a scene, and even that is difficult at that length.

For me, it’s the opportunity to procrastinate fun and challenge of doing something different that’s appealing. Like mental calisthenics, even if I can’t manage to lift anything heavier than the 2.5-pound hand weight. Sigh.

So what was the challenge? Tell a story in 100 or fewer words, and you must include the following words (author names from the anthology):

Twist
Sharp
Slaughter
Say
Law

Here it is:

The man pacing the narrow hallway outside the courtroom went still when he saw us approach. “Karin says you’re pleading guilty.”

I nodded, once. “Yes.”

“Like a meek little lamb being led to slaughter.” His scorn was sharp with anger. And fear.

“I broke the law.”

“Damnit, Mom, don’t twist the truth. It was an accident–”

“A child died, Lee.”

“–and the parents just want vengeance!”

I reached up, awkward with the restraints, and slowly brushed the lone tear off his cheek.

“So would I,” I said.

The deputy at the door cleared his throat. “It’s time.”

8 Comments

Filed under just for fun, writing

8 responses to “A story in 100 words?

  1. Awesome. With a few words you sketched a scene that suggests emotional depths. For something like this, you CAN call me Ishmael?

    Like

  2. Don’t know why lil’ipad saw fit to make that a question rather than a statement. It’s a bad sign when your iPad makes editorial decisions for you.

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  3. That was an excellent post. Very nice writing style. Thanks so much for sharing. I really enjoyed it very much

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  4. Merry, this is why I don’t have an iThing. I’m convinced their autocorrect function is deliberately designed to do ridiculous things so they’ll be hilarious and popular on FAIL blogs.

    Also, thank you.

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  5. cbpen

    That is so hard to do!! I had a heck of a time paring things down to 1500 wrds for the contest this year. Tho’ the one that won was a tad over 400. I still am not sure how I did that. 🙂 I normally take that many words to breathe!! 🙂 Anyway, good job!

    Like

  6. me

    Wow. Just wow. (And I liked how you worked in the book title and the editor’s name into the story.) Great job!

    Like

  7. McB

    Powerful, very powerful.

    Like

  8. You all are awesome. Thanks for the kind words (and the “likes”).

    Like

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