A Story in 100 Words

That was the title of a competition being run by a newspaper in the UK. Being a 100,000 word kind of girl my immediate reaction was that it would be impossible to craft a story, a proper story, in just one hundred words (excluding the title). Intrigued I read the piece and the example that accompanied it. It was the flashiest of flash fiction. Entertaining and intriguing. Popcorn for the mind.

I turned the page and moved on. Except, I couldn’t. The article kept popping back into my head while I was doing the washing up or driving to work. It was impossible, surely? But could I do it? No! A story with a beginning, a middle and an end. Characters introduced and ushered into action. A resolution. Could I really distil all of that into a fraction of the word count I normally employ?

The gauntlet had been thrown down. The competitor in me could not resist. I simply had to give it a go.


I didn’t even entertain writing the story in my normal genre of romantic fiction. I felt something this brief needed action, danger, a perilous situation, something to grab the attention and get the blood pumping. I let my creative mind off the leash and let it play in the mud for a while, this is what it came up with:-


Alexandro turned the Navy launch’s spotlight as a shape loomed out of the darkness.

The small vessel didn’t look capable of crossing a river, let alone the Mediterranean as it pitched and rolled in the unforgiving swell.

Drawing alongside, Alexandro could see the boat was a tableau of misery. A woman, clothes shredded by her journey, was preparing to jump.


Alexandro clutched at her, seeking her arms, missing, grabbing only a handful of rags instead. As she disappeared beneath the water, he was astonished to see her smile.

Then, from the bundle of rags, he heard a baby cry.


Fancy giving it a go? Happy writing!

white lies
White Lies by Ellie Holmes http://Author.to/EllieHolmes