Writing 101, Day Five: 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.

Eyes focused on the path ahead, a white shape stood out amidst the crisp leaves.  “Probably just trash someone left behind – ugh, but it ruins the landscape, better pick it up,” I told myself.  Panting from the sudden cessation of running, I leaned over and spied this seemingly unimportant scrap piece of paper.  “Prayer” was written in dark marker on the outside.  Intrigued, I opened the note and found written inside a prayer written messily, probably by a child.  Engulfed by the message inside, I realized it had been written by my own child’s hand.  Hidden out here in the forest, the intent of the note was now clear . . . and now those words remain forever etched in my heart.

10 thoughts on “Writing 101, Day Five: Be Brief

  1. I’ll start with mechanics then go from there.

    The flow of your work is good. There’s a steady pace that I like; not too fast, not too slow. I’d consider the formatting, though. You might want to look at breaking it up into paragraphs to separate the action and the quote. Just style points, but it will make it a bit easier to read.

    The description is decent; a key point is in the description of the narrator’s breathing as she bends over to take a closer look at the letter. The description of “Prayer” is also a nice touch.

    I didn’t notice any typos at all. Given the nature of the assignment, I understand the need to keep it short. However, a little elaboration of what those words (especially with the revelation of who wrote them), would make it stronger.

    Overall, nice job. 🙂


  2. I guess from a certain comment, you had the same problem as I had, I mislaid my commas.
    I went back to my post and after some tidying up it looks a whole lot better, unfortunately no one will ever know as it probably will never see the light of day – I do like a constructive critic though.


  3. I like the twist! You kept to the challenge. Even though I am curious about what was actually written by her child, I can also understand the personal nature of it and how those words are sacred to her and only her. So great job for making me feel that, just means that your story is convincing!


  4. I enjoyed this, too, but agree with djsteve, paragraphs would be good.

    You’ve done a great job of setting up the scene and bringing us to the takeaway point, which you’ll remember always, but don’t tell us. The intent is clear to the parent — but fuzzy to readers. Was the note left there so she’d find it? So she wouldn’t find it? A few more words should clarify.

    I see you’re new at blogging. Happy Writing 101! It would be good if you’d go to your dashboard, click on Appearance, then on Widgets, and install a Recent Posts widget so your readers can follow you in this adventure.


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