My Writers Circle

The Coffee Shop => Writing Games & Challenges => Topic started by: writersart on August 11, 2007, 08:12:36 PM

Title: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on August 11, 2007, 08:12:36 PM
The challenge is to write a complete short story in exactly one hundred words, no more, no fewer.  Think of it as a very long haiku without the poetry.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: jeff on August 21, 2007, 05:53:23 AM
I wanted to summerise my WIP on the '50 word elevator pitch' thread, but i couldn't get it down to 50 words so i've done 100 instead.

Michael becomes ruler of the city of Fashparde when his father is murdered. His plan for revenge risks a war that will tear apart the confederation of city-states.
The triumvirate of Arantarn deposed their king and seems intent on exporting their revolution. Meanwhile, another kind of revolution in their iron foundries seems even more likely to burn away the old order.
Under pretence of supplying military support to the triumvirate, Michael plans a counter-coup. But he’s been tricked by Frederick, ruler of Farstvall. Frederick wants Michael and the triumvirate to destroy each other and break the power of their cities.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: scotty511 on September 07, 2007, 10:47:26 AM
Quite a challenge. This is all I have to offer:

         "As long as we're being honest," I said, taking off my shirt and unfurling my wings to their full glory.
   
   Rebecca's chin struggled to touch her toes as she choked a few words out. I pictured her as a small child, sitting in that same chair as her father logically disproved the existence of God.
   
   "What...the...fu..."
   
   "Shh... don't try to reason, just accept what you see." I cooed.
   
   "Are you an angel?" she stammered, refusing to blink.
   
   "Once upon a time," I replied, "but that was long ago."
   
   My tail snaked out from behind me, betraying my identity.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on September 07, 2007, 06:21:49 PM
Bravo, Scotty!  We often forget that Satan was once an angel-- :D

It's hard at first to get the word count right, but the technique forces you to very concisely tell your story.  The discipline that such brevity requires adds potency to the tale.  You must pare your story down to its essence.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Maxine on September 12, 2007, 07:28:06 PM
   Kitty howled in rage, why did no one believe her?  They believed Becky when she said that a snake was in the garden.  And they believed Ronny when he told everyone that his dad’s shop had been robbed.  But no one believed her. 
   ‘The girl has too much imagination‘. 
   ‘Her parents should stop reading her all those fairy stories, she’s going to start thinking they’re real‘. 
   ‘ I’m not telling stories, it really is there.  Please look and you’ll see it’.
   All they had to do was look out of the window, and they would see the real, beautiful, magical unicorn
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on September 12, 2007, 08:19:36 PM
Great try, Maxine.  You're one word short though.  It's a problem I struggled mightily with when I first started writing these.

Please go back and recount.  You can fix this.  Work at it.  I enjoyed your story very much.  Don't give up now.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Wurdsmyth on October 15, 2007, 09:05:24 AM
Cold and alone, the girl waits, her heart beating insistently. Freezing rain stabs at her bare arms like tiny ice daggers, but she refuses to shelter elsewhere.

This is where he said he would be. So this is where she waits.

In the warmth of her memories, his face is before her – his fingers soft against her face and his smile full of promise.

“I’ll be there,” he says, “Wait for me.”

Hours pass, each minute a seeming millennium, but she remains.

Then, in the dimness of her failing senses, she feels warm arms surround her.

He is here.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on October 15, 2007, 07:54:02 PM
What a lovely story, Wurdsmyth!  I think you may be one word short--do a recount.  But one word is easily fixed.  Don't change anything about your story though.  It's perfect as it is.

The tension is wonderfully maintained until the very end.  I'm so glad it has a happy ending.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Wurdsmyth on October 16, 2007, 07:15:52 AM
That is SO weird - the word count tool on my Microsoft Word says 100 words but it's only 99!

Aargh!

OK, I'll try again...

Cold and alone, the girl waits, her heart beating insistently. Freezing rain stabs at her bare arms like tiny ice daggers, but she refuses to shelter elsewhere.
 
This is where he said he would be. So this is where she waits.

In the warmth of her memories, his face is before her – his fingers soft against her face and his smile full of promise.

“I’ll be there,” he says, “Wait for me.”

Hours pass, each minute a seeming millennium, but she remains.

Then, in the dimness of her failing senses, she feels warm, soothing arms surround her.

He is here.


...Hope this is better! Thanks so much for your kind comments... I'm a sucker for a happy ending so that's why I put one there!  :)
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: naturewalker on October 19, 2007, 12:32:05 PM
The car had overturned. Sudha was still inside - her leg trapped under the broken burning metal.

She was sobbing. It was not the agony of broken bones and mangled muscles. The tormenting question was, "Will I ever dance again?"

When she regained consciousness all faces around her were strangely devoid of expression. She tried to rise and fell back! Where was her leg? A young doctor came with a Jaipur-foot in his hand and strapped it on her knee-stump.

She would not give up. She resolved to fight… stand...walk... run... dance again.

Three years later she danced to victory.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Terrasque on October 24, 2007, 10:57:19 PM
Devils of light danced across the walls as the flickering candle under the patterned-cut sheath lit them there.  Edan watched contently as suppressed fear made her heart race and her breathing quick.

In the room next to hers came a crash and the sound of wood splintering.  Then the screams, and the gunshots came.  She could hear her mother cry as they ravaged her, then dragged her through the door.

Soon they came for Edan too, but she did not cry.  She was thirteen, no baby, and she would not fight against the swastikas quivering in the candle light.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on October 24, 2007, 11:33:24 PM
Naturewalker,

Character, problem, conflict, resolution

The main elements of narrative are all here. See what you have accomplished in just 100 words! Brava!

Quote
She was sobbing. It was not the agony of broken bones and mangled muscles. The tormenting question was, "Will I ever dance again?"

Ah, the pain of uncertainty beyond the pain of physical damage. . .

Terrasque,

You take us into the heart of darkness here.  The only thing that disturbs me abut your tale is that Edan chose to go quietly.  Adults fight against tyranny/chaos daily, often to the death.  But they fight.

Quote
Devils of light danced across the walls as the flickering candle under the patterned-cut sheath lit them there.

This is a great sentence.  I particularly loved "Devils of light... ." 
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: naturewalker on October 25, 2007, 01:59:52 PM
Thanks Drabbles!
This is a real life story!
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Gyppo on November 02, 2007, 05:32:08 AM

Terrasque,

You take us into the heart of darkness here.  The only thing that disturbs me abut your tale is that Edan chose to go quietly.  Adults fight against tyranny/chaos daily, often to the death.  But they fight.
 

Terrasque:  So much in so few words.  Excellent.  I liked the devild of light too.

writersart:  True.  But not all fight 'tooth and claw'.  The recorded history of Hitler's Camps shows this.  Some fought from the start and were quickly killed or beaten into submission as an example. Others inwardly resolved to survive - no matter what - and tell the tale to the world outside.  They didn't know when or even if this chance would come, but their defiance took the form of survival.  And some, going against their religion, took their own lives as a supreme act of defiance or perhaps despair.

At thirteen, Edan would possibly be of an age to mistake dignity for adulthood ;-(

Gyppo

Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Narnian Prince on November 02, 2007, 05:57:42 AM
His eyes had become red slits as the blue grey fog thickened before him.  An eternity had passed and his limbs now felt as though lead weights were attached.  Around him the myriad of voices seemed to increase in volume and alien tones.  His head throbbed as he tried to establish his bearings.

How long, he pondered, and how far had he come?  Time and distance had become as jumbled as the noises in the room around him.  Excruciating pain tore at his chest as his breathing became more laboured.  With a final gasp he collapsed, the record broken.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Spell Chick on November 04, 2007, 12:57:09 PM
She invented a time machine and made her first stop in Victorian England. She loved reading about the romantic era and felt her visit would enhance her appreciation.

Instead of the fantasy of books, the reality of the age frightened her. She was a second class citizen, good only for life as a maid or a prostitute. Disease was rampant. Food was scarce.

The air was filled with smog. She labored to catch her breath while running back to her time machine. Reaching the glade where she had parked it, she found it destroyed by vandals; doomed to live there.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: naturewalker on November 04, 2007, 01:14:09 PM
He was Abdullah- carrying Ram's ashes to be submerged in the Ganges. His faith was shaken ... his life confused. How could there be rebirth? Allah doomed His subjects to eternal bliss or hell hereafter.

Ram had recalled minute details of his life as Rahim, his son in his last birth. Ram was Rahim... reborn. And death had snatched his son from him a second time.

Could he go on believing in the Almighty who could be so cruel?

He now understood God's word- " I am. One. For all. For Ram and for Rahim. Believe in Me".

Then... there was peace.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on November 04, 2007, 06:54:55 PM
Quote
The air was filled with smog. She labored to catch her breath while running back to her time machine. Reaching the glade where she had parked it, she found it destroyed by vandals; doomed to live there.

Now this is a pretty pickle she's found herself in.  What do you think she did next, this woman who was smart enough to invent a time machine? The answer to that question might fill a whole book.  What do you think?

Drabbles can be thought of as seeds, too, I think.

Quote
Could he go on believing in the Almighty who could be so cruel?

He now understood God's word- " I am. One. For all. For Ram and for Rahim. Believe in Me".

Then... there was peace.

You have taken us into the realm of the infinite and the philosophical.  To me this drabble's story seems to have gone 180 degrees from doubt to re-affirmation of Abdullah's faith. Very polished. I believe you like this form of storytelling, and you're quite good at it.  Good enough to make me want to read something longer.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: naturewalker on November 04, 2007, 10:24:41 PM
Writestart,
Thanks for the reaffirmation! This is the plot of my book on which I 'stopped' working about six months ago due to self doubt!! The first draft is complete. Can I start to read it again for the editing?

I have been 'told' this might not interest publishers due to its religious overtones. I would like to very much see it in print- any suggestions?

Thanks again for the encouragement...
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: AJ Barnett on November 06, 2007, 05:18:00 AM
Naturewalker, in response to your request for my comments, I think your work is very polished and professional. If these two pieces are anything to go by, your longer work should be ready to submit to a publisher.

The second piece of work is excellent, and I can think of no reason to make comment, other than your writing is top-class.

I thought the first piece had the making of a full length novel (which is what I believe you intend) and the only minor down-comment I can make, is on the decriptive element. Please be careful of adverbs, adjectives etc. Descriptive words are fine in their place but too many can cause a reader to mistrust and even suspend disbelief in what the writer is saying. Try to avoid using two on the trot (broken, burning, metal) It would have been absolutely fine just to have said 'metal'. To add 'broken' is also fine, and gives greater depth to the work; to add 'burning' is over-the-top. I think you'll find most successful authors avoid such elements like the plague. The only place for 'purple' is in romance, and whilst there is nothing wrong with romance, in my opinion, your work is not of that category.

Please understand that this is only my view, and that some people would disagree, but I believe that in most cases, purple prose should be chucked away. Some of the finest work has contained no purple prose at all.

Hope this is what you wanted and hope it helps.
Anthony
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Christopher Silva on November 06, 2007, 06:24:25 AM
Scotty, brilliant!!!


Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: naturewalker on November 06, 2007, 02:36:23 PM
Thanks Anthony!

I shall seriously try and submit the work NOW...
The next biggie is to crack the querry letter!!!

Thanks again!
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Spell Chick on November 06, 2007, 02:52:37 PM
Quote
Insert Quote
Quote
The air was filled with smog. She labored to catch her breath while running back to her time machine. Reaching the glade where she had parked it, she found it destroyed by vandals; doomed to live there.

Now this is a pretty pickle she's found herself in.  What do you think she did next, this woman who was smart enough to invent a time machine? The answer to that question might fill a whole book.  What do you think?

I think that I made that up in about ten minutes and have no idea what happened next. LOL I assume that she will eventually find parts, but I'm not sure about an energy source. Perhaps she can get it fixed and return home or go to some other exotic time and place.

Since I have the attention span of a gnat, I find essays and shorts much easier to deal with. I think I am supposed to want to write the Great American Novel, but frankly, I would rather read someone else's. I don't posess the fortitude to write an entire book. I admire those who do.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: AJ Barnett on November 07, 2007, 02:21:09 AM
Naturewalker,
No problem. I wish you all the best with your book. Don't forget, editors at publishing houses are human. They might not accept your story merely because they had a bad night. Don't give up if the first one turns you away. I could paper a room with rejection slips from my early days.
Good luck - Anthony
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: AJ Barnett on November 07, 2007, 02:22:19 AM
SpChick,
Then why not concentrate on short stories. My first novel failed, so I wrote nothing other than shorts, from 1994 until recently, (magazines, summer specials, competitions,  anthologies etc). If you get them published, the thrill is almost as great as getting a novel accepted, especially those first few; and if it fails, it hasn't taken as big a chunk out of your life.

Short story writing is also a great way to discipline yourself to write for a niche-market instead of self-indulgent writing. The bonus is that when you finally get around to a novel, publishers take you seriously if you have a track record.
Give it a try.  All the best - Anthony
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Christopher Silva on November 07, 2007, 06:53:57 AM
I agree 100%... I realized that I did not have the time to write a full novel but had tons of ideas and just could not stop writing.
I started writing shorts and sending them around and after a while they got picked up. I have even been able to make a little cash too.

chris
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Spell Chick on November 07, 2007, 07:27:14 AM
I would love to make a a liitle cash. Well, I'd love to make a lot of cash, but I would be willing to start out with a Little Bit.

I actaully HAVE a book written, it just isn't fiction. I have had it read by an actual Publishing Person and was told that it was a great concept and wonderfully written, but that she had no idea where to go to get the dang thing published. I've tried looking at a few places, but I'm not sure how to market myself and so here it sits.

Some day I will figure this all out.  ???

Patti
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on November 07, 2007, 06:51:29 PM
We're getting a little off topic here.  But understandable.  So while we're straying from the drabble path, I'd like to suggest that looking for an agent might be more valuable than trying to submit your work or to query all the possible publishers.

Another idea is that if you're going to self-submit, get access to some helpful tome like Writers' Market Place and hunt for the publishers who are open to unpublished writers and who accept spec manuscripts/and or manuscripts over the transom (i.e. submitted through the mail  by the author).

A third possibility is to go to the library, gather up a pile of magazines, and look for the editorial policies.  If you submit a spec or query letter, always try to address it to the correct editor.  Usually there are different editors to handle fiction versus articles.
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Christopher Silva on November 08, 2007, 07:50:57 AM
Writersart, so old fashioned… Though libraries are a wonderful resource, I think all those magazines you discussed have an on-line presence. And I have found I get a quick response when using e-mail rather to the possibility of ‘getting lost in the mail’ postal methodology. By the way, I know a couple of editors and pubs. Who use that excuse all the time, “I didn’t receive it, must have got lost in the archaic mail system.”  E-mails easy and so are a returned / read receipt.

Just my thoughts.  Now, back to drabble ………..
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Gyppo on November 08, 2007, 04:25:55 PM
Writersart, so old fashioned… Though libraries are a wonderful resource, I think all those magazines you discussed have an on-line presence. And I have found I get a quick response when using e-mail rather to the possibility of ‘getting lost in the mail’ postal methodology. By the way, I know a couple of editors and pubs. Who use that excuse all the time, “I didn’t receive it, must have got lost in the archaic mail system.”  E-mails easy and so are a returned / read receipt.

Just my thoughts.  Now, back to drabble ………..


But in a real world library you get to look at the pretty lasses as well, (under well established rules of people wathing/research),  and sometimes take one of them for a coffee or whatever ;-)  That never happens on line...

Gyppo
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Spell Chick on November 08, 2007, 04:54:38 PM
Also doesn't happen if you aren't a pretty girl. sigh.

I don't think I have ever been asked out for coffee from a library. Could it be that I am too old? Too   ummmm       not pretty?

Online probably won't be so insulting.

Patti
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: writersart on November 08, 2007, 05:55:03 PM
Actually, both ways can work for a writer.  The key word being "work." If you want your stories/novels/articles published, you're going to have to make an effort to market your talents/skills. If one editor rejects your work have it ready to send to the next prospect (or have already used the multiple submission technique).  Always have stories on the market circuit while you're writing the next ones.



But in a real world library you get to look at the pretty lasses as well, (under well established rules of people wathing/research),  and sometimes take one of them for a coffee or whatever ;-)  That never happens on line...

Gyppo

Also nice if the pretty lady or handsome gentleman turns out to be a publisher/editor.  Then you really have something in common.  ;)
Title: Re: Drabbles
Post by: Christopher Silva on November 09, 2007, 10:18:15 AM
Well you could save a little spot on your monitor for an internet chat window with a pretty lass waiting for smart comments and sexy quips  :-)

I agree, libraries do have the human element, I grew up in them and love them too.