A Story In One Sentence

Written by Esther Leech

As I become more accustom to the world of creative writing I am constantly challenged with the economy of language. The use of words serving a greater purpose, much larger than saying something for the sake of writing it down (which is necessary for any writer to start with) but instead thoughtfully consider every word used, every word suggested. Writers like Georgia O’Keefe, Ernest Hemingway and Tim O’Brien, knew that when writing something short there was no room for the miscellaneous; that every word is piling into a mountain of telling details for each character and situation. I have been challenged in the current age of rapid information not to give someone watered down essays or lukewarm stories. But instead, to refine the writing so that it only exists as a concentrated whole, no more no less. The difficulty of telling a story in one sentence is that you are leaving only what is important on the page and giving the reader agency to read between the lines.

Your story can not be overdone or clichéd, because a sentence can be easily dismissed and forgotten. Everything you say needs to be intentional. If you don’t care deeply about what you are writing about then why would you expect anyone else to? So go, write something down and then spend some time editing out the words that don’t add anything to your story/sentence, and see what you’re left with.

He knew when he stepped foot into their loft, that the dining room table would not have dinner on it (like he was used to), that the bowl with dried cereal on the edges and the glass of orange juice would be sitting next to the sink (along with the residue of the night before); and that was enough reason to try the thai shop around the corner.
— Take Out, by Esther Leech
Have a story in one sentence? We'd love to publish it. Send your creative writing to submissions@trouvemag.com.