Practice Writing Good, Clean Prose

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EXERCISE- Write a short story using WORDS OF ONLY ONE SYLLABLE.

PURPOSE- To make you conscious of word choice. Too often writers think in terms of a story, rather than in terms of words- of building a story with words. As a result, their early efforts are often overwritten and flowery. The above exercise will challenge your use of language- and it might change the way you write.

  • Started September 21st, 2009.
  • Ended September 28th, 2009.
  • Created by lauren OH!

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The winner of this challenge is:


  1. Avatar Nancy

    bummed I missed this challenge — sounds like a good one!

  2. Avatar ~Eagle~My~Beagle

    Thanks for the win lauren. I don’t know if I really deserved it, but that story really came from the heart and I guess you appreciated that.

    I read lots of other great stories on this challenge. Props to all.

  3. Avatar Mighty-Joe Young (A.K.A Strong Coffee)(LoA)

    Welcome back lauren we started to think you went awol on us

  4. Avatar lauren OH!

    thanks so much for participating guys! all of the submissions were really impressive, considering what a pain in the ass this challenge is! there will most definitely be more to come- I had a series of writing teachers in college obsessed with these kind of challenges, so I pretty much have a library of future torture. once again, you’re all awesome. : )

  5. Avatar Stewart M. Matthews

    Cool challenge. I didn’t think I could do it. But I actually came up with something halfway decent.

  6. Avatar uselessness

    I love this challenge idea! I wrote my entry before I had a chance to read any of the others, so forgive me if I blatantly retread anyone’s idea. :-)

  7. Avatar Eloquent Mess {(LoA)}

    Actually, I’m rather impressed with many of these tales! Though I think if I were to write one I’d probably start by writing normally then reduce it to monosyllabics.

  8. Avatar ~Eagle~My~Beagle

    Well, that was interesting. It was pretty frustrating after a while, but hey, that means I was doing something right.

    By the way, interesting challenge from the kind of laid back writer you seem to be, lauren…

  9. Avatar Twyst

    one syllable? nah.

  10. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Well that was way more fun than I thought it would be. Given time I may even continue the story, though I don’t know if I’ll maintain the mono-syllabic theme in the sequels. Thanks for the inventive challenge.

  11. Avatar Mighty-Joe Young (A.K.A Strong Coffee)(LoA)

    yeah i want to see the submissions i think this works on the same principal as in singing lessons you sing with two fingers in your mouth. (or with a pistol in your mouth you only speak in vowels hehehe) i said pistol come on..

  12. Avatar Eloquent Mess {(LoA)}

    Egads, this hurts my brain. Reading monosyllabic stories makes me feel a bit… stupid. I mean… I understand the challenge, but this limits vocabulary so much, forcing us to use small, simple words, leading to simple stories…

    Maybe I’m wrong, but this kind of scares me.

    I look forward to seeing the submissions, but I don’t think I’ll be capable of entering this challenge without getting a migraine.


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  • THX 0477
  • uselessness
  • The Fantastic Mister Fish
  • StudMuffin (LoA)
  • Match
  • J. Rein B.
  • Twyst
  • Abstract
  • QuackDamnYou
  • Krulltar
  • ~Eagle~My~Beagle
  • Stewart M. Matthews