Sunday, May 31, 2015

Microfiction Assignment: Day Five

Previous exercises here:
Day One: Intro and Drafts
Day Two: Get Concrete
Day Three: The A-to-B Journey
Day Four: A New Draft 

You now have two revised drafts: one from yesterday, and one from the day before. Choose your favorite.

Today your assignment is to tighten your sentences. In a 100-word story, this will, obviously, be very important.

-How many words can you take out while retaining the meaning and the feeling of each sentence?

-Are there still any vague, nonspecific words?

-Are there any sentences, phrases, or words that are already implied?

For example, in a story of mine that was edited by the great people at Tin House recently, one sentence read, “she rose like a marionette on strings at the sound of his voice.” The copy editor suggested cutting “on strings,” because it's already implied by the word “marionette.” It can be hard to spot these things, but if you read over your words a few times with an eye to doing that specifically, you may be surprised at how many words you can cut. This is an exercise that will serve you well in all your writing.

Set your timer for fifteen minutes and revise your story by tightening it as much as possible. Can you get it down to 100 words?

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