The 100 word novel

The title is misleading.

I’m not writing a novel in 100 words because a) I’m pretty sure by definition a piece of writing has to be between like 50,000 and 75,000 words before you call it a novel and b) I’m just not.

However the other day I was talking with my fiancée (my muse, my flame) and I was talking about the word count chart on my wall. Now some days are very good (1370 words) and some are not (0 words).

Now there are quite a few zeros on the board and though one of my friends admired my ability to be honest by my lack of work and the shame involved in that, I am unhappy to see zeros all by themselves.

So I said to my fiancée (light of my life, fire of my loins) that I would make a concerted effort to do at least 100 words a day.

That way even if work is crazy and I have Turkish lessons or a prior engagement or if im just not in the zone I can always find the time and effort to put down at least 100 words.

And as a lot of you know sometimes 100 words is enough of a catalyst to get to 200 and if you get there you might as well go for 300 and if you can do 300 you should get it to an even 500 and if you get that far then 750’s not too far down the road and so on and so on.

Now this 100 word deal got me thinking about writing a long form piece 100 words at a time. Each chapter would only be 100 words and each little 100 word tale would link up to make a big story.

I think of it like a palette cleanser for when the murky world of 60s politics that im delving into in my novel gets too much for me and I need a quick little distraction that holds no pressure and only needs to be 100 words long.

I’m also not really planning the story out in any real way. I have a beginning and a few lines but no thorough idea of a plot so I’m going to make it up as I go along, possibly change genres halfway through or just go where my wandering mind takes me because sometimes I wanna write about werewolves and explosions and my novel doesn’t allow that unless I add in tons of dream sequences…actually…thats not that bad of an idea.


35 thoughts on “The 100 word novel

  1. Okay, I’m in. I like 100 word stories, even if they grow into 50,000 words… as long as it’s 100 words at a time. Plus, any guy who is that big a kiss-ass to his fiancé, can’t be all bad.

    I’ll be counting.


  2. I had a similar idea for a book; 100 words at a time. Figured it would be good to keep in the bathroom. I still might do it. I’m sure there’s room for more than one 100 word novel. Oh, and btw, there’s actually a darn good over-the-counter cure for “fire of my loins”.


  3. I cannot explain why but this makes me think of a 1970s Christmas classic where they sing “Put one foot in front of the other…” and the Bill Murray classic What About Bob and “Baby steps”.


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