The Drabble As A Writing Exercise

The prospect of writing short stories stumped me during my early years at the Flame. My burgeoning vision of BEING A WRITER did not include the concept of “short”. I wanted to write sweeping trilogies! Two thousand words for an entire story … are you kidding me?

Of course, in my beginning at the Flame I couldn’t compose a paragraph shorter than half a page. I was the sloppiest of newbies, but often admired for my enthusiasm.

My first honest-to-goodness short story totaled 1800 words. How was I able to finally manage such a triumph? Drabbles were introduced in a mini-contest, and it was if a foppish little upstart had slapped me across the face with a white glove. I had been triple-dog dared on the playground.

Some challenges just can’t go overlooked.

I sweat blood writing that first drabble. Then I wrote dozens. Then I wrote dozens of flash-fic. Then I wrote thirty days worth of the tightest poetry my sloppy little notebooks had ever witnessed.

All this background is not intended to lead you to believe that I am a fabulous writer. In the grand scheme of things, I’m just not. Regardless of how someone out there may rate my writing today, I know I am miles away from where I started. Miles!

After I left the Flame to concentrate on school, those drabble muscles I’d developed saved my bacon countless times for countless essay and review assignments. I never once shouted aloud in class, 500 WORDS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

The drabble is, in my opinion, the most amazing writing exercise ever invented. It’s a tease, a dare, a sweaty, bare-knuckled boxing match with the imagination.

Agree? Disagree? Tell me about some of your favorite writing exercises, and the triumphs they yielded. Feel free to share quotes from your favorite pieces, and/or, share lists of other daunting writing butt kickers.


Speaking of Drabble Dares, February is chock full. The Week Three Challenge is “Heart-shaped Paper”. Your stories should consist of no more than 100 words, and be submitted by 11:45 EST 2/22.

Meanwhile, Go read, comment, vote & love the Week Two Drabbles! RicoChey won over some amazing tiny tales last week. Who will prevail over the PB&J this week?

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About brigitsflame

Brigit's Flame is an ever-evolving online writing community. We offer writing prompts and inspiration while sharing our own writing and reading observations with an audience of writers, poets, and readers. We encourage peer readership and constructive criticism for all of our members. Our motivation is simple -- creativity is a precious resource to be nurtured and the results of the creative process can grow into something beautiful when shared. All writing you share with us remains your property. Come check us out on Brigits Flame Writing Community on Wordpress and be sure to follow our activity on Brigits Flame on facebook, Brigits Flame on tumblr, or Brigits Flame on twitter. We are everywhere you are.
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One Response to The Drabble As A Writing Exercise

  1. skyllairae says:

    One writing exercise I did last night: I got this from one of my former co-workers and I didn’t think it would produce anything for me because it goes like this: transcribe a beloved poem into your notebook. I just wanted to write something down (insomnia) and I found a poem a friend of mine had published on Apex Magazine. It is a long poem. As I was writing it down I suddenly became inspired and I wrote a poem. It wasn’t a response to or a continuation of my friend’s poem. It was about a conversation with another friend I had earlier in the day and I wanted to process it but didn’t know how. Writing down words that weren’t my own helped me jump start my brain.

    Another exercise that I really like is the tell what something ISN’T poem.

    I also like list and directional poems. How to do something, how to get somewhere, etc.

    Like

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