'I know how to start a story well, but I can't keep it going in the middle. This part of the story just becomes a black-and-white film: There's detail, but not enough to make it something you'd want to watch, or in this case, read.'
Question: How do you write a decent story in 250 words?
That’s what I’ve asked myself plenty of times. I’ve made multiple efforts, and I’ve succeeded, but I’ve failed more. About three quarters of the story ideas I’ve come up with do not become a brilliant piece of literature.
I mean, I know how to start a story well, but I can’t keep it going in the middle. This part of the story just becomes a black-and-white film: There’s detail, but not enough to make it something you’d want to watch, or in this case, read.
And then, of course, there’s the word limit. When you have to write a story in 250 words, there’s almost no room for background. You can’t add much about the person’s past – sometimes, you can’t add anything.
It’s not just a limit on words, either, but also becomes a limit on what you can write about. Try writing a 500-word story about someone going on a big journey and you’ll see what I mean.
So, back to the question: How am I going to write the perfect 250-word story?
This is the question I ask as I stare blankly at a computer screen. As I continue to rummage for an idea, coming up with nothing (again), I refrain from it to bang my head on the desk.
Then it comes to me.
Write a story about trying to write a story.
And guess what? That’s the story you’re reading right now.