2021 Writing Exercise Series #127 Micro 101 Episode 10

The 2021 Writing Series is a series of daily writing exercises for both prose writers and poets to keep their creative mind stretched and ready to go—fresh for your other writing endeavors. The writing prompts take the impetus—that initial crystal of creation—out of your hands (for the most part) and changes your writing creation into creative problem solving. Instead of being preoccupied with the question "What do I write" you are instead pondering "How do I make this work?" And in the process you are producing new writing.

This is not a standard writing session. This is pure production—to keep your brain thinking about using language to solve simple or complex problems. The worst thing you can do is sit there inactive. It's like taking a 5 minute breather in the middle of a spin class—the point is to push, to produce something, however imperfect. If you don't overthink it, you will be able to complete all of the exercises in under 30 minutes.

Micro 101 Episode 10

For today's writing exercise you will write a few micro-poems or micro-fictions. These will be either poems under 20 lines or stories under 200 words.

For inspiration go read some micro or hint fiction in this Buzzfeed article, at Microfiction MondayAlbaMolecule50 Word Stories and Nanoism. Or also this Barnstorm blog post "How Microfiction Could Transform Social Media".

Read the full prompt twice before you start writing, because you're looking to keep it minimal, so have ideas. If your first draft is longer don't fret. Hone it down. And the piece will be what it is. I've started out with a goal of 100 words but hit on something and had to cull the end result from 1350 to 1200 for a contest because I loved the result. So each story will be its own beast, but we're ideally aiming for 20 lines or 100-200 words with these.

Micro Exercise 1: Rising Stream. Tell the story of a stream or river flooding and causing damage to the surrounding area. Include an image of a child playing with toy cars.
Micro Exercise 2: Meat on a Stick. Write a short piece which is set while two people sit around a fire cooking meat on sticks (whether this is hot dogs, skewers, or something much more 'rustic' is up to you).
Micro Exercise 3: Building a Dam. Write a micro in which a child attempts to dam a small stream or creak with small rocks. 
Micro Exercise 4: Literal Idiom. Write a slipstream or surreal micro which takes an idiom from this list and presents it in a way in which the figurative example literally happens, don't be afraid to get weird or silly, but bring it back in the end to offer some observation or takeaway for the piece.
Micro Exercise 5: The Jam Session 2. Write a piece in which a family of at least four individuals, play musical instruments and 'jam' together one evening when something has or is about to go terribly wrong (or some tragedy or accident is about to happen).


If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Nintendo Lofi Beats" lofi mix.