Word-Pruning

I wrote something Saturday for a writing competition.

If you, like me, sometimes need a little kick (or, very large boot) to start your writing engine, then you know that 100 word stories are a great motivation.

Properly nudged, therefore, I began my little story.

“Hey, this is turning out well,” I complimented myself. Gears turning, I added details. I named my character. She did cute little gestures with her face.

Then, I remembered my limits. I stopped, counted. I was at 88 words and little Sadie was still on the couch. I was not going to fit my planned end dialogue from a candy corn man in just 12 words.

I began trimming. Sadie’s lips no longer pursed thoughtfully as she scowled impatiently. Her comforter didn’t swish to the floor; then, it was no longer mentioned at all. The candy corn people originally came from a dish of various confections, but “Mellowcreme pumpkins” was two extra words too many.

Like a manic killer, I slashed adjectives, actions, and prepositions. Two descriptive sentences became one of a somewhat less interesting run-on sentence.

There! I counted again. Argh! 115 words.

I pored through any possible excess, one word at a time. Initially happy at the prospect of creating a workable masterpiece, I now cursed the word limit in frustrated whispers.

Finally, I gathered my remains, stuffed them into a somewhat-coherent form, and clicked Publish.

Staring round at the dismembered body of my original story, I vowed to never again write such a restrictive theme -at least until tomorrow.

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