Welcome to the 50-Word Challenge!
Here's the summary of last week's challenge entries and a new prompt for this week. First, you will find a weekly feature about the challenge, with tips for writing 50-word short stories.
(Image credit: Original image by rawpixel, Pixabay)
50-Word Challenge: intro and writing tips
The 50-word challenge starts off each week with a one-word prompt. The Fifty Worders, as I fondly refer to this community of writers, then create a micro-fiction story in just 50 words based on the prompt.
It wraps up a week later with a new post listing all the stories from the previous week, a few story highlights, and a new prompt. I always set the deadline as Saturday, but as all the regulars know, there's a grace period until I get the new prompt posted, usually Sunday or Monday.
Just 50 words? Easy! (Or is it?)
The 50-Word Challenge is aptly named. It's actually not easy. But it is a fun challenge.
How does one write a 50-word story? Well, here's a quick outline of my process:
- Think about the prompt word, and write down a few ideas.
- Pick a favorite story idea that involves one or more characters, a setting, a conflict (this could be a desire, a pain point, marital troubles, abuse, or a million other things that people struggle with in real life), and a resolution to that conflict.
- Find a picture that helps to illustrate the story.
- Write and revise until it's just right:
- Play with the wording. Tighten the story. Make sure it tells the whole story and resolves the conflict.
- Take out words that don't contribute meaning and add better, more meaningful words.
- Count and make sure it's 50 words exactly. (I use Google docs, but you can also use MS Word.)
- Revise again. Count again. Tweak again. Rinse, repeat.
Be sure to check out the many wonderful entries that the Fifty Worders post. A lot of the writers provide the backstory or the writing process involved, and it's really fun to see how writers think.
I began thinking about a girl in a yellow dress, and what might be happening in her life. I saw her in a field. Not unhappy, perhaps, but recovering from something that she had to deal with in the past that seems to surround her, not unlike the flowers of the field. I began looking for images involving "yellow" and "field," and when I came upon this image, a completely different story came to mind. Especially when I zoomed in and saw that there is an elderly man standing in the doorway.
Getting started with 50-word storiesTry it! See if you can capture a complete story, with a character, a setting, a conflict and a resolution. Not every good micro-fiction story has all of those elements. But thinking about how to incorporate them into your stories as you write can really help. If there is no conflict, for example, you will probably find that your story seems to be missing something important.
And give yourself time. Sit down to write when you have a little time to work with your wording. You might write something that sounds interesting and feel like you're done. But you will almost always find that something amazing happens when you work with your story longer.
Does this challenge have a winner?
Nope! This is a challenge, not a contest. There are no winners.
But I do choose a few interesting and artful stories each week to highlight. I look for stories that are well-written, compelling to read, have correct use of grammar and punctuation, and follow the guidelines for proper use of images and attribution.
Last week's story collection
I’d like to welcome our newest contributors, @fairyhedgehogg, @dbzfan4awhile, and @opiman. Thanks for joining the Fifty Worders!
Here is the complete list of stories inspired by last week's “lemon” prompt:
- When life doesn't give you lemons, by @fairhedgehogg
- Alone, by @carn
- Child's play, by @deirdyweirdy
- Don't judge the lemon by its peel or making lemonade, by @tygertyger
- Sour life, by @roxy-cat
- Lemon Unicorn Birthday Cake, by @pyrowngs
- Lemon Scream, by @dbzfan4awhile
- Lemons, by @bex-dk
- The Rise and Fall of Yellow Things, by @thinknzombie
- Fallen, by @negativer
- An elusive night out, by @ablaze
- Contact, by @anikekirsten
- The Scent of Hope, by @therosepatch
- The Gardener's Secret, by @opiman
- Opportunities, by @damianjayclay
- Bitter Revenge, by @alheath
- PANDEMONIUM, by @olakunle10
- A Change of Leadership, by @preparedwombat
- Strange lemon, by @anixio
- When life hands you lemons, by @hlezama
- Renewing friendship! by @felixgarciap
- Blind, by @aleli
- Lemon Chiffon, by @pyemoney
- Acidic Bust, by @henry-gant
- Ode to Cave Johnson, by @theironfelix
- The Cake...Bow, by @purpledaisy57
- Deal of the Day, by @celsius100
- Tequila shot, by @jasminearch
- Bittersweet, by @idenkcall
- Mommy's Lemonade, by @ahmadmanga
- Unseen, by @jayna
- Lemon pie, by @jayna
Highlights of the weekHere are a few stories from last week's collection that stood out to me as artful and well-written. It is ridiculously difficult to pick just a few. My hope is that the stories I highlight each week will bring inspiration to us all — seasoned and new Fifty Worders, alike.
Picking fruit was a terrible holiday job.@carn should do more with this, as I do, be sure to stop by his story and tell him so!
The elegant lady in the white dress had passed by before. Today, Sanchez saw her cry.
He filled his mug from the cold stream, cut a lemon quarter and dropped it in.
She took it and drank, then offered him a better position.
Again! The man slammed the steering wheel. Why had he let the salesman sell him this lemon? He climbed out of the car wearily and started walking towards the distant town.
Dark things looked out of windows, pondering the desperate man who did not feel the urge to pass by.
It didn’t take long for the lemonade to work. George’s face was turning blue.
“You bitch.” he wheezed. “My allergies.”
Lily clutched the EpiPen. His breaths rattled. There wasn’t much time.
She tucked it back into her pocket. Bastard had it coming.
His body sank into the chair.
A knife swings from delicate hands. Her mind drifts while she cuts. A string of hearses passing by.
She’ll take the chance. Another Lemon and a firm hand grasps her from behind.
"Martha." He coos. "Your face...seems all too sweet to me."
It hurts. "It's Bittersweet."
He’s another lemon.
Mutt watched as the girl slammed back the shot and bit into a slice of lemon.
What was her name again? Jodie? Joni?
Shit. Why was he here?
Annie would hate this place. She'd be right.
He tossed a few bills on the bartop, walked outside and grabbed his phone.
Excellent work, everyone!
This week's 50-word story prompt
The prompt for this week is “pop.” Oh the possibilities! Have fun, Fifty Worders.
Please review carefully. Images must follow the Proper use of images guidelines below.
- Write a story in 50 words. (It's especially cool if you can hit 50 words exactly!)
- Use the #fiftywords tag, and **post the link in the comments of this post**.
- Be sure to read and upvote the work of the other participants. It's all about community!
- Use only artwork that you have the right to use, and attribute it properly. See the following guidelines.
Proper use of imagesProper use of images means one of the following:
- The image is public domain, or under creative commons licensing rules.
- It is your own image.
- If it is not one of the above, you must have actual permission.
I have two resources for you, from my friends at @thewritersblock:
Deadline for this week: Saturday, August 11th.
The 50-word story clan
I'm mentioning you here if have participated in the #fiftywords short story challenge in the past. Please let me know if you would like your tag removed in this or future posts. (Note that I do trim the list. Those who have not participated for a long time or are not active on Steemit will eventually drop from the mentions.)
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you try the 50-word challenge. It's so fun to see what can unfold in a mere 50 words!
Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://jaynalocke.com/2018/08/05/fifty-word-challenge-story-round-up-and-new-prompt/