2021 Writing Exercise Series #238 Micro 101 Episode 16

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 16

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: Three Neighbors. In a very brief piece, tell of how your narrator has three neighbors who all died within the last year which has made them anxious.
Micro Exercise 2: Neighbor Competition. Write a very short piece in which the narrator is competing in some way with their neighbor. Whether in a sport, a game, in conspicuous consumption, you decide. Also end with an observation about the point or value of that competition.
Micro Exercise 3: Night Flood. Write a micro piece in which a sudden storm causes a small neighborhood to flood. Start with the narrator waking up in the middle of the night and bring us all the way through to at least sunrise via a series of three carefully chosen actions, and two lists of details the narrator witnesses at different points.
Micro Exercise 4: Traffic Jam 1Write a micro piece in which a narrator gets stuck in a traffic jam and after momentarily being angry, they are then relieved that they will miss the obligation that they were on their way to, and turn up the song they're listening to (name the song).
Micro Exercise 5: Traffic Jam 2: Slipstream. Write a very short piece in which someone abandons their car in a traffic jam, and then something magical happens but is presented in a way as if it is just normal, every day stuff. 


If you'd like some background music to write to, try this "Campfire Crackling" lofi mix.