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Can you write a story in 100 words?

I don't usually do much in the way of life updates on my blog, but something happened this weekend that I wanted to share with you guys.

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Archer!

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect--Mum is more of a fan than I am (not really my genre). But he was doing a talk at a local literature festival, so we went along, and ohmygod, you guys, I was blown away!

He is a phenomenal storyteller.

(Incidentally, that was what the talk was about--how to write a bestseller.)

He had the entire audience hanging off his every word, and the best thing was that he actually turned almost the entire session into a Q&A. I love it when authors do that--it means we get to ask the questions that are important, and really engage with them. He managed it really well and told some lovely stories, too.

If any of you ever have the chance to see him live, I really highly recommend it. You'll have a great time.

Afterwards, he did a book signing, so I even got to meet him and shake his hand. He asked everyone about themselves, what they do, so I even got to tell him I was an author, which *squeals*. Might be the highlight of my author career so far (he wished me good luck!!!).

Alright, alright, I'm done fangirling. :)

During the session, he was talking about how to tell stories, and he shared his famous hundred-word story, UNIQUE, which he wrote for a challenge by the Reader's Digestl. The challenge was to tell an entire story, in just one hundred words (including the title). The story had to have a beginning, a middle, and an end, and he had to finish it in 24hrs.

(Scroll down to the bottom of that page to find it.)

Yep, that's it, just a hundred words. Including the title. And it really does tell a whole story, doesn't it?

He broke down how it worked for us, explaining every single word choice and how it provided the reader with context and intrigue, and guided us through the piece. Then he challenged us to write our own.

I couldn't not give it a shot.

Here's mine (and it was, in fact, written in 24hrs, even though I'm only posting it today):

What I learnt:

  1. A hundred words is really short. Really, really short. And when you take into account that it has to include the title... yeah. Really short.

  2. This kind of short story is like producing a surrealist painting. Show it to a hundred people, and ninety of them either won't understand it, or won't like it. (#unpopularopinion, but yeah, there you go).

Anyway, that's it for me today. What did you think of my 100-word short story? What do you think it means? And can you write your own? I'd love to see them!


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I'm Margot, author of fantasy and sci-fi romance, lover of gaming and crafting, and professional research rabbit hole diver. I share book updates and interesting research tidbits about magic and fantasy in the real world.

Find out more about me.

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