Monday, May 31, 2010

200 Word Challenge

My students are swearing to me that it can't be done. Care to prove them wrong? Post your efforts in the comments below!

The 200-Word Challenge: Write 200 words, without repeating a single one, save for articles, conjunctions, and helping verbs.

Thus, you can have "We have seen that statue before. I have known this woman." but you cannot have "I have a grape. You have an apple."

Topic unlimited, but it must be cohesive. You cannot jump from topic to topic every 20 words.

Below is my own attempt. Written using Dr. Wicked's Write or Die lab as a handy word-counter and cattle-prod, I managed to almost succeed. I believe that the only word outside of the rules that I did not manage to eliminate at the start was 'of.' However, with a little help from my brilliant wife, I found the keys and succeeded! Also, a very cool little legend has spawned from the challenge! (It ended up at 209 words, instead of 215.)

Sure enough, once I showed my effort to my students, they found four more words I had doubled! Proof that editing is a good thing, right? I said I would give them credit for finding those errors, so:
Henry found "that"
Maria found "any"
Chris found "at"
Andrew found "could"

Accolades to my students for being good editors!

The slumbering dragon snorted hot flame and we saw the cavern around us. The towering mounds adorned with glittering gold and roughly cut jewels sparkled amid the flickering light, the beast's sleeping breath. Lord Charles Overcault sheathed his sword and clambered atop the nearest treasure pile for a better view. Sir Calreth O'dell moved around the edge, blade held ready. They were truly best friends; no two warriors could be closer even if born brothers. Suddenly, a sparkle caught their eyes. Above the heaped emeralds and scattered rubies, a single gem sat in the moon's lone ray that entered the cave through a hole at the top. It was the Princess's Heart, stolen from the vaults under Aramathus and thought lost these many past ages. The legend said the artifact would carve jealousy, greed, and doubt upon any man's soul. The curse echoed the stone's origin. Supposedly, an ancient king's daughter, who loved a commoner, denied her father's wish to marry. Instead, she and the unapproved lover eloped. The parents, upon capturing them, killed the boy and encased the girl within a lump of coal. The filthy charcoal instantly became perfectly clear and beautiful as the royal child had been, though now harder than the rock.


  1. And Shawna found "upon" (near the end: upon any man's soul, upon capturing them).

    But this is quite brilliant, nonetheless.

    I saw your comment on Suburban Turmoil. I hate the idea of you never getting comments, so I came to leave you one. :)

  2. Well done, Shawna! Guess I'm not as smart as I thought I was!

    Thanks for the comments, I do adore getting them. Nice to have you here In The Margins, I hope you enjoy your stay! :)