I wrote, recently, about a writing class a friend and I taught. Our first exercise was a haiku, but the second exercise we attempted was to write 50 words, as a complete story, and then shorten it to 25 words. Here’s mine.
She stood in her bedroom one last time, her fingers smoothing the creases on the pillowcase. He’d called the room the Chamber of Love.
Her peripheral vision caught the photo frame by her right elbow. She lifted it between gentle fingers and placed it face down on the hard wood. (50 words)
It was really hard to try to convey the same impact on the second round, but I think I got fairly close.
Her fingers smoothed the pillowcase creases in their “chamber of love” and then gently placed the nearby photo frame face down onto the hard wood. (25 words)
The point of the exercise was to show that you can pretty much say the same thing with half the words. I know, ladies—so what. 🙂
You can submit your own stories or 25 words or less to this site that I found years ago. I have one other story with them, in addition to the one above (which I was able to refine because I was not gridlocked into 25 words).