Have you ever written a story in which every sentence is a question? I did that for the first time today.
The Source of the Prompt
On the Premises is an online fiction magazine. They publish the winning short stories and flash fiction submitted for their writing contests. I found out about On the Premises recently and signed up for their newsletter. Last week, I received my first email from them. They announced a mini-contest with a May 7th deadline. I was interested immediately.
The Writing Prompt: Questions
The premise of this mini-contest is that the story must be short, as in 25 – 50 words. It must tell a story. You know, as in a beginning, a middle, and an end. The tricky part is that every sentence must be a question. Every sentence? Yes. All questions? Yes. Every sentence must end in a question mark, even the dialogue.
How Many Drafts Does It Take?
I wrote two stories for this mini-contest. Each was almost fifty words. I made several changes until I liked one better than the other. My personal rule is to put stories away for a day or so and then go back and re-read them to edit and proofread. I didn’t do that today.
Instead, I decided that I really liked the second story, so I asked my in-house beta reader to read it. He liked it (he doesn’t always like my stuff), and off it went via Submittable. I can only enter once, so it is what it is.
Questions About the Story I Didn’t Submit
The first story I wrote following the prompt from On the Premises isn’t bad. I just liked the other one better. Read it below to see what I mean. Does it tell a story with a series of questions in less than 50 words?
by R.R. Mitchell
How do I feel about what Marty did? How do you think I feel about it? Do you really want to know? Suppose your fiance´ did what Marty did with your best friend? So… Marty screws Jennifer at my birthday party, and I’m supposed to forgive him? Would you?
It’s Your Turn
Writing a story in which every sentence is a question was a challenge for me. Will you try it? Let me know what you think of this writing exercise in the comments below.