The genius of Twitter is in restricting people to 140 characters.1 Occasionally, it meets its goal of requiring people to think or be creative when composing a thought, although not as often as originally intended, I’m guessing.
Likewise, 100 word stories are interesting for the same reason. Their brevity lends them to inspire unique twists and unusual thought juxtapositions, and if they’re truly bad, then at least they’re over quickly.
One of the more enjoyable variations on the 100 word story in my opinion is the 100 Word Stories Podcast by Laurence Simon. He’s been doing this for years – his archive goes back to May 2005. He’s twisted and crazy and loves to rant with foul humor at his listeners, and that’s always a sign of a potentially decent podcast.2
And then there’s the Weekly Challenge. If you’ve ever wanted to show the entire world how you’re completely capable of ruining an entire story only 100 words into it, this is for you. Write a 100 word story based upon the week’s assigned topic, record it, and email it to Laurence Simon. Simple, achievable, and certainly simultaneously a very wise and incredibly stupid thing to do.
I’ve decided to start submitting terrible tales of my own creation for the writing exercise and for the fun of joining some of my friends who already do. I think it’s starting well; I shared this week’s submission with Ronnie and heard nothing but crickets in response, so I’m assuming that means he liked it. I know I personally just ignore it when friends send me horrible abominations and ask if I like them, but I seriously doubt that’s Ronnie’s modus operandi. He’s just too nice for that kind of thing.
If you enjoy short, creative writing projects and also don’t mind projecting your voice into the intarwebs for the NSA to use and reformat and make into incriminating statements, consider joining in. You even get to submit suggestions for future topics. I wonder if Laurence would be willing to consider goat herding as a theme for a challenge?