avatarNancy Oglesby


94 Random Word Drabble

Challenge 4/3

The challenge? A complete fiction story in 100 words that includes the random word for the day.

New words are posted on Fiction Shorts every morning at 10 AM CST.

We know 100 words are not a lot, but make sure your story has a plot, a who, what, when, where, and why. And, it helps the reader connect if your character has a name. You want your readers to care. This is the challenge.

The word is the word. The only changes allowed are an ‘-ed’ or ‘-ing’ or an ‘s’. If it’s already one of those things, don’t change it. :)

Two of your tags must be Random and Drabble


Writing dialogue between two or more people, in 100 words can get tricky. It’s especially challenging for the writer to know if they’ve got it right when they already know who’s speaking.

The easiest way is to limit it to two people. Italicize one, not the other. That way you don’t have to keep saying, ‘Aliza said, or She exclaimed.

We can easily follow the conversation.

Maria Rattray pointed out to me, that the proper punctuation to indicate the person is still speaking in a second paragraph is to not use a closed quote at the end of the first paragraph, but do use another opening quote in the second, and subsequent paragraphs if the same person is speaking. Only when they’re finished speaking do you use a closing quote.

In our micro stories, I find this more difficult to follow than simply using regular and italics, but you do you.

The point is for our readers to be able to easily read our stories, and find the plot, the who, what, when, where, and how.

That’s a lot to pack into 100 words.

Eliminate the words, ‘and then they went’ from your vocabulary. Get your characters from one place to the other with action. It will engage your reader more than, “… at school, and then he went home to have cookies in the kitchen with his mom.” We’ll know he went home by the action. “Timmy flew through the front door, straight to the kitchen for a snickerdoodle.”

Please include a link to either Fiction Shorts or the day’s random word post. It would be super cool if you would include a link to another writer’s drabble. What a great way to say, “I loved your story!”

If an editor leaves a note on your story, do not delete it. After the editor publishes your story, they will dismiss the note. If a different editor is looking at the story upon resubmission, they have no idea what the original editor requested.

Subject to the publisher (that’s me) messing up …

If you submit your story early, it will be scheduled to be published at 7:30 or 8:30 AM (CST) on the appropriate day. (The editors are in different time zones and I don’t think I can set one for the pub.)

If your story is for any word other than the current day, it will be published around 10 PM CST. Our goal is for people to be able to visit the publication and read all of the day’s stories together. That way we see the many different ways people approach the same word.

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