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Why Drabbles are the Ultimate Writing Exercise for Aspiring Authors

Even as a publishing professional, the existence of drabbles is a relatively new development for me. Drabbles are short, self-contained pieces of writing that consist of exactly 100 words. They are a popular form of flash fiction that challenges authors to convey a complete story or idea within the constraints of a limited word count. The brevity of drabbles forces writers to be concise and deliberate in their choice of words, making every sentence and paragraph count. This condensed format allows authors to experiment with different writing techniques and styles, honing their skills and becoming more adept at crafting impactful narratives.

My discovery of this fascinating literary format came when I met author Faye Rapoport DesPres after she sent the manuscript for her upcoming book “Soul to Soul: Tiny Stories of Hope and Resilience.” Faye was able to effectively portray a myriad of emotions and distill high level abstract ideas into such a short form that I was completely blown away. As soon as I read the manuscript, I knew HIP had to have it. By the way, preorders for Soul to Soul will soon be available, and I highly suggest you grab yourself a copy or two. A book like this is an unusual find for a traditional press and it makes a great gift for someone who loves to read! You can find out more about Soul to Soul at the link below. Follow us on X (formerly Twitter) @HIPHuntsville for updates!

This week we’ll be taking a closer look at the increasingly popular short story format that has taken the indie writing community by storm and learn why I think that drabble writing may be the only exercise you need to hone your skills!


Writing drabbles can be an invaluable exercise for aspiring authors looking to improve their craft. The strict word limit forces writers to carefully consider every word they use, ensuring that each one serves a purpose and contributes to the overall story. This practice of distilling ideas into their most essential form can strengthen an author's ability to communicate effectively and efficiently.

Additionally, the brevity of drabbles encourages authors to focus on the core elements of storytelling. With only 100 words, there is no room for extraneous details or lengthy exposition. Authors must learn to create engaging characters, build tension, and deliver satisfying conclusions within a tight framework. This exercise can help aspiring authors develop their storytelling instincts and learn to make every word count.

Furthermore, writing drabbles can improve an author's ability to edit and revise their work. With such a limited word count, authors must be ruthless in their self-editing, ensuring that each sentence and paragraph contributes to the overall impact of the piece. This practice can sharpen an author's editing skills and teach them how to streamline their writing for maximum impact.


One of the advantages of drabbles is their versatility in exploring different genres and writing styles. The brevity of the format allows authors to experiment with various genres, such as mystery, romance, science fiction, and horror, at a rapid pace without committing to a lengthy story. This flexibility enables writers to stretch their creative muscles and step out of their comfort zones.

Drabbles also provide an opportunity for authors to try out different writing styles and techniques. Whether it's experimenting with poetic language, utilizing unconventional narrative structures, or playing with different points of view, drabbles allow authors to test the boundaries of their writing abilities. By pushing themselves to explore new styles and techniques, aspiring authors can discover their unique voice and develop a more versatile writing repertoire.


If you're interested in trying your hand at writing drabbles, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Embrace the constraints: The limited word count is what makes drabbles challenging and rewarding. Embrace the constraints and use them as a creative catalyst to push the boundaries of your writing.

  2. Start with a single idea: Begin your drabble with a single idea or concept that you want to explore. This will help you stay focused and ensure that your piece has a clear direction.

  3. Edit ruthlessly: With only 100 words, every word matters. Be prepared to edit and revise your drabble multiple times, removing any unnecessary words or phrases that don't contribute to the overall impact.

  4. Read drabbles by other authors: Familiarize yourself with the drabble format by reading examples written by other authors. This will give you a sense of the possibilities within the limited word count and inspire your own creativity.


If you're interested in delving deeper into the world of drabble writing, here are some resources to help you on your journey:

  • "100 Word Story": This online literary magazine features drabbles written by various authors. Reading their work can provide inspiration and serve as a model for your own writing.

  • "Drabblecast": This podcast specializes in audio fiction, including drabbles. Listening to drabbles can give you a sense of how the format works in an auditory medium.

  • Writing communities and forums: Joining writing communities and forums can connect you with other aspiring authors interested in drabble writing. You can exchange ideas, receive feedback on your work, and find support in your writing journey.


Whether you're a seasoned writer looking to challenge yourself or a beginner seeking a creative exercise, give drabble writing a try. You might just find that this concise and impactful form of storytelling becomes an essential part of your writing journey!

Thank you for joining us this week on the Scripta blog, brought to you by Huntsville Independent Press. If you learned something from this article, why not share it with a friend or colleague? HIP appreciates you and your readership. Your support helps keep us alive! Please consider signing up for notifications when new articles are posted. You may occasionally receive updates for new books and products when they become available. As we always say, have a positive and productive week!

Written by:

Joshua Adams

Owner / Publisher

Huntsville Independent Press



Huntsville Independent Press is the premiere publishing imprint of the Southeast United States, and we want to help you, the author. HIP provides, at no cost to our signed authors, a better solution for the publication of your story. Our contracts are non-restrictive and offer higher royalties for our authors. No HIP advance is taken out of royalties. Your advance from us is a one-time payment for the privilege to publish your book and is not a loan. Our passionate team of editors work diligently to ensure that the uniqueness of your story is preserved through the editing process. While you’re here, feel free to look around to see if Huntsville Independent Press is the right home for your work. We are always happy to have talented authors find a publishing home here with us.

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