Friday Writing Exercise 0 Comments

My obsession with compression is getting hectic. After reading ‘Twitter>The Novel? @tejucole>Teju Cole?’ by Sam Twyford-Moore, I’m even more fascinated by the potential and power of micro-stories. Twyford-Moore cites Hemingway’s famous six-word short story: ‘For sale: baby shoes, never worn.’ as an early example of the medium. 

With the increasing popularity of Twitter comes the unlocking of possibilities beyond the social networking side, such as these ‘Seven short stories about drones’ by Teju Cole, published on Twitter. The limitations of a medium such as Twitter, namely the 140 character count, can be a great strength. By confining yourself to a sentence or two, you are pushing yourself to decide what the most important information is and which words have the most impact.

A good way to start might be to take a few sentences from something you’ve written and condense them. Thus:

The daisies in my front yard finally shriveled today – I can see them from my window. I haven’t been outside, haven’t watered them, for weeks. His hand print is still on the window.

The daisies finally shriveled. I haven’t been outside for weeks. His hand print still on the window. 

If you want to write something new, try this simple format:

  • Who is speaking/being spoken about?
  • What one event happened to them/what one thing did they do?
  • What was the impact?
Here’s an example:
Gregor refused to admit defeat. He would not take his aching tooth to a dentist. He would let it fester and see if she would still kiss him.
By Izzy Roberts-Orr
Izzy Roberts-Orr is a Voiceworks EdCommer. She writes poetry, plays and reviews. She tweets via @izasmiz.
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