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Wednesday Writing Prompt: 140 Words or Less

Welcome, writers! Don’t forget to join us today at 12:00 PM CDT for the Write Now! Mastermind class with author Kelly Stone on learning how to integrate writing into our daily lives. On the call, I will be giving away a copy of her newest book, Living Write: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life. You must be present to win! If you are not yet signed up for the class, please register at the Mastermind page.

Today’s Wednesday Writing Prompt comes from Tania Elfersy, author of the beautiful book Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal, and Toolkit. Each of the stories in this richly illustrated volume is just 140 words long. In this case, less is definitely more. Each well-crafted story reflects on an experience of motherhood and, in this poem-like structure, manages to convey the complicated emotions that accompany the early days of  parenting. In today’s prompt, Elfersy encourages you to try to write a story in 140words or less. Enjoy!

140 Words or Less by Tania Elfersy

A word is a lot. —Etgar Keret

This post is written in no more than 140 words. It is my new favorite word limit—a creative boundary wherein short stories flourish and poetry and prose mingle. When a story is short, it is punchy. Each word carries extra weight. Sentences become more powerful. Paragraphs more expressive. As a writer, settling down to write no more than 140 words can be less daunting. As an editor, trimming a story with surplus usable content is a challenge—I enjoy it! Try rebooting your creative pen or keyboard by setting a tighter word limit. Experiment with a new style.

Your turn. Write a story or a scene in just 140 words. When you’ve finished, leave a comment below about how it went. Did the word limit free you or frighten you? What did you learn from the exercise?

About Tania Elfersy. Elfersy self-published the upfront and beautifully illustrated book for moms titled Purple Leaves, Red Cherries: A Gift for Mothers with Short Stories, Journal & Toolkit. The short stories reveal how becoming a mother impacts women’s lives. The journal and toolkit provide tools to help women cope with the complexities of motherhood. Tania co-authored Purple Leaves, Red Cherries with Andrea Katzman.



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