Tightening the Writing

Published July 17, 2012 by Elsa Pla

Ever tried writing a 55-word story? It’s a great way to practice how to “tighten” your writing.

Here are my two attempts:

I pick up the phone and hear a woman’s terrified screams. Chills surge up and down my spine. Then—click—the caller hangs up. “Hello? Hello?” I shout into the receiver.

The phone rings again.

“Hi, Babe. Sorry I hung up on you.”

“Dexter! Who was screaming?”

“Oh. I dropped the phone next to the TV…”


The moment the escaped convict stepped onto the ledge of the building’s 21st floor, it hit him: if he leaned a bit forward and lost his balance he would have nothing to hold on to and would plummet head first and end up splattered like a smashed egg on the pavement. Then it hit him.


Silly, I know — but fun!


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