How To Write A Drabble

How To Write A Drabble | Munachim Yvonne Frank-Dobi | Nigeria

Many writers have no problem intriguing us with 10,000+ words or 15 chapters of creativity. Some writers also exhibit true talent when dealing with 1,000 to 5,000 words short stories. But what happens when a writer is expected to tell a complete and meaningful story in exactly 100 words?

This exciting challenge was the inspiration behind the Readers Boon Drabble Competition. This competition holds every month (except otherwise stated) on Readers Boon social pages. It features a lot of talented African writers who attempt to confine their Brownian ideas into just 100 words.

Readers Boon as a budding fellowship of writers and readers undertakes the herculean task, with the help of experienced judges, of choosing one single story that stands out both in creativity and style.

What is a Drabble?

drabble is a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

Contrary to popular belief, a drabble has nothing to do with speed and everything to do with creativity. This task may be difficult for writers who have not learnt to describe their ideas in just a few words. This article aims to help writers with their drabbles by listing 5 tips that could inspire a captivating drabble.

  1. Read: The first step to writing any form of literature is to read a lot of authors who are skilled in that form. A lot of authors are beginning to publish their drabble collections and these stories are available on the internet. Just like Readers Boon, many lit mags and publications, also hold drabble competitions from time to time. It is safe to read other entries and study the skill of other authors.
  2. Practice: Readers Boon will always encourage writers who participate in the drabble competitions to practice a lot with the given prompt. Write as many drabbles as you can and publish the best of them.
  3. Keep It Short: Especially when writing dialogues, writers must learn to keep it short and remove word clauses like “he said” or “Peter said”. The dialogue in a drabble is rarely between more than two people, so the readers should already have an idea of who is speaking at every given point in time. All descriptions should be left to the barest minimum. The “moon” is a moon and not “a silver globe cascading into the ocean.”
  4. Start and End Well: the first line of your drabble must be a hooker and the last line; a cushion. A drabble doesn’t give a lot of space to build anticipation in the reader. The story starts from the first sentence and should end with a satisfying last sentence.
  5. Edit: As many times as possible, you must edit your drabble to make sure that you have not exceeded the word count or left a preposition hanging in the story. Editing your drabble will clean it up and bring in a lot of clarity.

Drabbles are so much fun and easy to write if the writer can stick to simplicity. Complicating the story or twisting the plot will make it difficult to hit the target words.

Do you want to test your drabble skills?

Participate in the Readers Boon Drabble Competition and stand a chance to win a prize.

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