Writing 101: Day 5 – Be Brief


Writing 101

Day 5: Be Brief


You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter.

And your twist? Be as succinct as possible.

You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply,

and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed.

Write a story about this encounter.


Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.


None of us will ever know the whole story in other words. We can only collect a bag full of shards that each seem perfect.

— From 100 Word Story‘s About page


Brevity is the goal of this task, although “brief” can mean five words or five-hundred words.

You might write a fifty-word story, as writer Vincent Mars publishes on his blog, Boy in the Hat.

Or you might tell your tale in precisely one-hundred words, like the folks at 100 Word Story – an approach that forces you to question every word.

For writers who tend to write more, a longer word count may be considered concise, too. At Brevity, writers publish nonfiction of seven-hundred-fifty words or less: there is space to develop a piece, yet a focus on succinctness.

For inspiration, browse two fifty-word stories — on the silence between a husband and wife, or a story on time and a missed connection – or these one-hundred words by H. Edwards to see how others write clever concise tales.



The letter was full of gratitude, personal, exposing. Only the eyes it was meant for should have read it.

I tried to make out the smudged address, I wondered about posting it back in the box,

but thought the postman had dropped it to save himself that job. The stamps were franked, it had been sent from Yorkshire.

I didn’t know how to pretend, how to erase what I had seen, scan the memory and press delete. It wasn’t that easy and now my fingerprints were all over it too.



I have had a few formatting issues with this post.



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