Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – 13 Words

While perusing the New York Times this week – researching, not procrastinating – I saw that the Modern Love column is celebrating its 13th birthday and launching a project called “Awkward and Amazing: Modern Love at 13.”

From the article:

We want to hear our readers’ own tales of the joys and tribulations of love, but here’s the catch: You have to do it in 13 words. Maybe it’s funny: “Never go to bed angry. Unless he forgot to take out the recycling.” Maybe it’s where you met: “Vegas, where I lost $1,000 at a poker table. Best money ever spent.”

We’ve talked before on the blog about using six word stories or 100 word stories as a creative way to approach storytelling, so I thought this latest limit of 13-words might be fun and a nice change of pace for our normal Friday Writing Sprints, or at least a way to spark some creative thinking.

My creativity seems to have short-circuited with the recent heat-wave we’ve been experiencing this week, so I’m going to need to do something to get into the right frame of mind for the upcoming start of NaNoWriMo.  I’m thinking a few minutes of Random Word Improv (whether with 13 words or a few hundred) will be just the thing.

Care to join me?

Whether you want to give the 13-Word-Love-Story idea a try, want to spin out a more robust tale, or just want a little distraction, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.


We have a full set of random words today, so if you’re writing a 13-word story, you’ll have a bit of choice.  For those planning a more standard writing sprint, there will be bonus points for including a skeleton (after all, it is almost Halloween).

memory              jewel               ambition            wept

gauntlet              fiery                mystery               disturbance

dancer                frantic            muscular            castle

smuggler           hobby             twisted                 admission

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay.  Are you ready?  Let’s sprint!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back.  Kind of fun, right?  Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

2 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – 13 Words

  1. Here’s my 13-word effort:

    Throughout 70 years of marriage, Edith and Albert always kissed goodnight.

    Ok, sure, it doesn’t use any of today’s words, but it did come in under the word limit. What did you come up with?

    • Oh, sweet! Hmmm. It’s kind of like haiku, isn’t it?

      Fiery kisses,
      Kisses of consolation,
      Softly kissed good-bye.

      Which is a haiku but only eight words.

      Mistaken identity at a Valentine’s Day dance. Whirlwind courtship, then off to Japan.

      There, that’s 13! But it’s leaving out QUITE a bit of the love story, LOL. Including everything that would be traditionally considered a verb.

      Ah, my love of sentence fragments! I’ll make all of the editors cry.

      Another love story in 13! I’m on a roll!

      What a fun challenge!

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