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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Writing Shorts

Last week on Instagram, I asked my followers to give me a character name, personality traits, setting, problem, and wordcount. This is what I came up with. Enjoy!

Lilliane is in the back room of her aunt’s cake shop stacking boxes when the bell above the front door dingles. The hairs on her tattooed arms prickle. She swore she locked up.

Maybe it’s Aunt May?

But Lilliane knows she would’ve hollered a greeting.

Then who –

Something crashes in the storefront and Lilliane goes to investigate, picking up an icing gun on her way.

A hooded figure stands by the cash, gun in hand. He looks directly at her as she enters the room.

Lilliane raises her fake gun. The light might be dim enough to fool him.

“Now, little lady, don’t be stupid,” the stranger says.

Lilliane pulls the trigger and kicks the counter at the same time, causing a muffled bang.

The stranger stumbles back, tripping over another stack of boxes and smashing his head off the counter.

Lilliane drops her ‘gun’ and lunges for the telephone.

Here were my criteria:

Name: Lilliane

Personality: Clever, artistic

Setting: Cake shop

Problem: She's working there after hours and a murderer comes in.

Wordcount: 150

Okay, so this writing challenge was WAY harder than I thought it would be. 150 is so not enough words. My first attempt was 193 words and I had to pare it back, but this really exercises your writing muscles. It helps you learn to be concise and to only use words that you absolutely need.

Now, I want to challenge all of you!

I'm going to be hosting a challenge on Instagram called #writingshortscontest . You simple have to write a story like I did using one of the criteria options below, post your entry on Instagram(plus let me know what option you chose), and use the hashtag so I can find you. The winner will be announced on Instagram on Friday, May 1st, so get writing. The winner will receive a shout out on Instagram and their story will be featured here, on my blog! I can't wait to see what you guys come up with!

Contest criteria option 1

Name: George

Personality: quiet, smart

Setting: farmhouse 1900's

Problem: the family cow is dying

Wordcount: max 356

Contest criteria option 2

Name: Heidi

Personality: bubbly, kind

Setting: amusement park

Problem: the roller coaster got stuck

Wordcount: between 101-201

Contest criteria option 3

Name: Mason

Personality: stubborn, wanderer

Setting: cabin in the woods

Problem: he got lost and there's a bear

Wordcount: max 250

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