Thursday, 21 July 2011

100 Words

In the winter of 2008/2009 I was very busy at work and not getting enough time to satisfy my desire to write. I know, I know. If I were a “real” writer I would have found the time. Why is it we put ourselves down like that?

Anyway, I stumbled across this website 100 Words. It was set up to help writers be productive, getting them to commit to writing 100 words each day, every day, for a month.

Membership is free and you can write about anything you want, in any style, but the word count has to be exactly 100 words for each day. Working in this form allows you to be creative, within a set format, though not all of it is finely tuned perfection. Some of it is more along the lines of stream of consciousness, giving you a tiny window into someone else’s life.

I wrote every day for 3 months over that winter, posting my work in monthly batches. It helped me develop a discipline – a bit like the suggestion for when you are blocked, to write anything, even if it’s the same repeated word over and over. I’ve never tried that, but I would recommend 100 words to you, if only to read some great, inspiring writing.

Here are some of my 100 word extracts:

Jonathan North strolled into the room causing all the diners seated to stare up at him. All the waiters standing by stared up too. You could say that everyone looked up to Jonathan and you would not be lying.
Clutching his pale blue nightshirt nervously, he tipped his grey top-hat to one particularly buxom woman who was fixated on his nodding head, which reminded her of a toy dog that sat on the back ledge of her car.
“How de do da.” Jonathan smiled, revealing his three remaining teeth to the stunned diners, and brushed his lank wispy fringe from his eyes.

Molly stretched her top up to her eyes. Wiping away the tears left damp patches of a darker grey along the bottom of her T-shirt.
“I lost it.” She lisped to the teacher.
Daniel Hardy felt a sharp tug at his heart as the two saucer sized eyes met his own.
Her tiny face, dominated by those aquamarine oceans, crumpled and tears threatened to rain down onto his mark book.
He wanted to comfort her and his hand almost reached out to stroke the silky blond hair. Not appropriate, he mentally admonished himself, resting his interlocked hands on the desk.

The stretched-out expanse of undisturbed snow called to her. It tempted her onto its freeze-dried flatness, sleeplessly bright and treacherously calm. Blinded by its purity she took her first steps, tentatively crushing the crisp surface and leaving ridged footprints in her wake. Instantly the chill wind made her eyes water, only for the frigid tears to freeze on her cheeks. A need to mark the unsullied whiteness overcame her and she reached out to the leaden sky. Like a felled oak she keeled over backwards and lay spread-eagled, her wide, staring eyes framed by their filigree frosting of white lashes.

She emerged from the river choking, weeds and water trailing from her shorn hair, hands making a frantic clutch at the sodden layers of underskirts which now revealed her bare thighs. It was strange how in moments of terror something mundane could occupy every space in your head, but protecting her modesty was the least of her worries. Struggling against her bonds was pointless and every effort served only to use up precious oxygen. Feeling the first downward motion of the beam she took a lung filling gasp of air as once more she was plunged beneath the icy water.