140-character masterpieces

Brian Clark over at Copyblogger had a great idea for a contest – The Twitter Writing Contest. The only rule is that your story must be 140 characters, exactly. (140 characters being the maximum number of characters allowed in a twitter message.

Given the chance to enter a writing contest that only takes a few minutes, I obliged with the following entry:

The mob gasps. Two feet jerk, dangle, twist. The sun breaks through; murmurs arise. The accuser, watching, confides in a whisper: It was me.

The contest reminded me a lot of a series of “six-word stories,” a meme that built upon in the spirit of Ernest Hemmingway’s famous six-word masterpiece: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

He called it his best work. I tend to agree.

To put something together so concise is pretty exhilarating, actually. You’re forced to be nearly perfect with your word placement and thoughts, something I’m guilty of being incredibly sloppy with. To have an activity like this is to create an exercise in subtlety. In modesty.

I’m very happy with what I have. My only hope now is that I can win a prize. If not, it’s still one of the best things I’ve written. It’s the most pure, at least.

There are tons more entries in the comments of the contest post. Unfortunately for anyone who wants to enter, submissions are closed.

This was lovingly handwritten on May 23rd, 2008