ARK Works


creating meaning with content

Be a better writer, in 50 words or less

Maybe I’ve been hiding under a rock or behind a very large shrubbery, but I hadn’t seen the Daily Lit web site until best-selling author Dan Pink pointed it out on his blog. The site brings literary tidbits to your inbox, PDA, or phone in five-minute chunks — a very useful service in this increasingly online and mobile world.

Daily Lit is currently featuring a 50-word writing challenge, inspired by Pink’s book A Whole New Mind. The little stories submitted need to have a beginning, middle, and end. That’s easy. The hard part is limiting your saga to only 50 words. Of course, being forced to chose your words wisely and edit yourself can help you become a better writer. Because being a great writer is all about being a great editor.

Here’s my entry:

Heavy gray rain fell that February Sunday. There she sat quietly sipping chamomile, reading, cheeks flushed, wearing a petit dejeuner t-shirt. He ducked in out of the damp, spotted her — could not turn away, yet could not walk over. Love. The next day, a Missed Connections posting. She replied.

Now, go write your own.


Filed under: content, editing, writing

12 Responses

  1. lifemagician says:

    Some years ago there was a site on which I regularly contributed… it was similar…

    The challenge was to write one hundred words every day for a month. Those who completed the month got theirs published on the site. Miss one day, and you missed the whole month.

    Moreover, it was not ‘about’ one hundred words; it was not ‘almost’ one hundred words; it had to be ‘exactly’ one hundred words.

    A challenge well worth taking up. Thanks for the link to 50 words and Daily Lit.

    • akrasne says:

      Thanks for stopping by, lifemagician. If you participated in the Daily Lit challenge, please post or link to your entry.

      Writing is a muscle that can atrophy if not used on a regular basis and these types of exercises help writers stay in shape.

  2. lifemagician says:

    As I understand things, it is against WordPress policy to post here, words which are published elsewhere on the internet – so won’t post here.

    As for linking…. if someone can give me instructions in single syllable words and baby steps, I may be able to manage that.

    Computer Illiterate here!!

  3. akrasne says:

    Daily Lit’s terms of service say that content you upload to their site is under a “perpetual non-exclusive license.”

    I’m no lawyer, but what I gather is that you can post your own content on the Daily Lit site as well as here and not be in violation. (It gets tricky when you’re selling content, but this isn’t the case.)

    That said, there’s no pressure. 🙂

  4. lifemagician says:

    arkrasne, not in violation of Daily Lit’s terms…. but in violation of WordPress terms.

  5. lifemagician says:

    Recently I read a blog of yours which was signed ‘Grammar Snob’. It was about my favourite subject – grammar. Yup!! I am another grammar snob.

    Now I can no longer find it. I would very much like to read your blogs but am new to WordPress and have no idea how to go about it.

    Having seen your photo, I figure that you are considerably younger than all of my five children. Computer lingo does not come easy to me.

  6. akrasne says:

    hi lifemagician,
    for some reason i didn’t see this comment until today. apologies for the lag. thanks so much for your interest in the blog and grammar as a whole.

    here’s a link to the grammar snob entry:

  7. akrasne says:

    (hint: if you scroll up to the top of this page, click where it says “frontpage return home” you’ll get back to the home page where you can find all of the blog entries.)

    if there are any topics you’d be interested in reading about, please do let me know!

  8. lifemagician says:

    What I really wanted to know from you is, I too like to photograph and pick up on blatant miss-use of grammar, and had planned to put these in a blog of my own, similar to what you do. And I wanted to ask you, if it would be ok to sign myself a similar name…. maybe ‘another grammar snob’/’grammar snob II’ or something like that.

    I always carry a ‘sharpie’ with me, and where I can, correct a sign and then mark it out of 10, at the bottom.

    e.g. ‘everybodies favourite’. I would cross out the i and the e, replace with a y and apostrophe, and then at the end mark it 9/10.

    Lifey who taught her children correct grammar

  9. lifemagician says:

    Similar with a sign I saw advertising a toy which was marked down – ‘Helicopters was $8 now $5’.

    I crossed out the ‘was’, replaced it with ‘were’ and marked it 9/10. LOL

  10. akrasne says:

    while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there’s something to be said for originality. try grammar police, grammar cops, or something like that, perhaps.

    after all, there can only be one grammar snob! 🙂

  11. lifemagician says:

    “grammar police, grammar cops”

    Good thinking 99 – LOL

    And as for there being only one grammar snob…. considering I am probably old enough to be your grandmother, I should have registered that title long ago.

    I take it you are in North America.

    Here by my computer I have three dictionaries, an Oxford for the British; a Webster for the North Americans; a Macquarie for the Australians. This enables me to be sensitive to the different way the language is used in different parts of the world.

    Keep up the good work.

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