Fifty-five word short stories, or shorties, are excellent writing exercises to focus one’s thoughts, word choice, imagery and more. Unlike poetry, a 55-worder must have a beginning, middle and end to the story. Like poetry, the impact is precise.
My fifty-five word stories tend toward the serious. I have a friend who has mastered using the 55-worder to zing the reader with the unexpected ending, using either humor or shock. The 55-worder is his domain.
To tip my hat in homage to him and our friendship, I present you with a symbolic fifty-five word story. It’s about a writer with writer’s block stuck in a desert town wondering if she will ever finish her novel.
Morning in a Desert
by Fay Moore (c) 2013
I awaken to drumming outside the window. It must be the madman across the street on his drum set. He’s getting an early start on practicing, I think. I arise and peek through the venetian blinds, wondering, Will it be a good day in this desert town? Yes. In a parched place, it is raining.
Here’s a second copyrighted example on the same theme. I sent an e-mail to my daughter using the following almost verbatim. That was the inspiration for the piece above. It’s funny how inspiration strikes:
It’s raining in the desert. I was awakened this morning to drumming outside my window. I thought it was the madman across the street with his garage drum set. He’s starting early, I thought. I peeked outside. No drummer. It’s raining! How symbolic. Here I am in the midst of dusty barrenness, yet there’s rain.
Have a great weekend,
Hi, Eric. I’ve added a second one to the blog post this morning on the same theme. You’ll have to tell me which one you think has more punch for the reader. You have a good weekend, too.
This is tough, Fay – both are nose to nose. If you ask me – it is a tie 😀
You, my friend, are a gentleman. I prefer the first piece posted, although it was the second one written, solely for it’s tightness. The second posted piece is more relaxed, conversational. Maybe it boils down to preference for style, eh? Thanks for your comment.