Writing 101 – Day 5: Be Brief

You discover a letter on a path that affects you deeply. Today, write about this encounter.

Twist: Be brief as possible.


The wind is blowing today while I am taking my daily walk. Suddenly, a piece of paper flutters in front of me and catches in a nearby bush. I reach down to pick it up to see what it is. It is a letter, stained and soiled by wear and tear.

“My Darling Emma. I grieve your passing so very much. It has been five years today and every day I wish so very much to be with you. Soon, darling, soon. All My Love, H”

I suddenly remember my beloved niece, found hanging in her closet. I cringe as the memory assaults me.

Tears jerk me back to reality from this terrible imagery!

“What if..what if..”

Who is 'H'? Is he planning his own death?

“I must stop him! I must find him and stop him!”

“Where do I begin?”

I whisper to the howling wind, “Tell me where”…



45 thoughts on “Writing 101 – Day 5: Be Brief

  1. I like your brief story. May I say that even though brevity is the assignment, I’d probably throw in a few additives to give a few more interesting details. “bitter cold wind” “tattered piece of paper” “mulberry bush” Of course then it might not be brief any more. So ignore my long winded comment if you please.

  2. Good angle and well written. If you don’t mind, I got kinda hung up on the imagery of “A piece of paper flutters…” becoming an envelope? (because what else would you “tear open”)..It seems it would be too heavy to use flutter as a descriptive…lol .

    Also, what if the person was like 90 and dying anyways and it was a happy letter?…you can’t really stop that….lol. Of course considering your flashback it might be be natural to jump to that assumption, but I don’t really get that from the letter because it’s not something that happened in my past for me to go there.

    Just my opinion ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You are right. It would be kind of hard for an envelope to flutter! I guess my mind didn’t see a 90 year old person – but then how would the readers know that. So good question. I should have made it even shorter.

      • See how our minds jump…lol..I never said man, I said person. So yes forget the 90 year old…the point is you want to address that it’s a suicide letter right? Hmmm…as a reader I need something more in the letter for me to make that jump besides “soon, darling, soon” which doesn’t come across as a very “premature” life ending situation? You made that jump for me below it. Actually I don’t know anyone who committed suicide so pardon if my ignorance is showing ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sorry, computer was acting up and didn’t think that post went through then thought the better of it and rewrote, to say…. Yes forget the 90 year old….lol…the point is you want to address that it’s a suicide letter right? Hmmm…as a reader I need something more in the letter for me to feel it’s a very desperate “premature” life ending situation so I can make that jump with you. I think that’s harder to do and why I didn’t in mine. Bravo for trying. The other option maybe would have been not to write the contents of the letter itself but instead share the pain & sorrow in it, “the shards” that would convey such a situation and flow into your rational. The “letter” could then actually be really long. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks for your input. I was trying to make the anxiety of the writer, having lost a niece to suicide, the main reason for the writer to think it might be suicide. It is possible that only people who have lost someone close to them to suicide that can relate.

  4. My condolences for your loss. You know, it might just be as simple as relocating the sentence where you ask who H is, to under “tears jerking you back to reality” instead. THEN it flows better and helps me relate a little better. What do you think?

  5. I must confess that I was closer to the 90 year old interpretation than I was to the intended scenario. But you know what, that’s what writing and reading is all about. We each (on both sides of the fence) bring a lifetime of experiences to reading/writing a piece. And when the reader’s interpretation doesn’t necessarily match the reader’s intent…well, that’s when things get interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

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