140 Character Stories: Tell a Story in a Tweet

by Monica M. Clark | 130 comments

Let’s write stories today.

140 Character Stories: Can You Tell a Story in a Tweet?

140 character stories. For Twitter.

140 Character Stories

I’ve been thinking about this, and I don’t know why we can’t do it.

If you don’t already know, all Twitter posts must consist of 140 characters or less. And a “story” is defined as “an account of imaginary or real people and events told for entertainment” or “an account of past events in someone's life or in the evolution of something.”

You see? No minimum word requirement for something to qualify as a story! So let’s do it. Let’s write 140 character stories.

Stories to Inspire You

To be fair, I even took fifteen minutes to write a few myself:

They were friends. Until one of them married Norm. Since then, they’ve gone their separate ways.

They dated. He cheated. She stayed. He lied. She moved to Philadelphia for school. She could finally end it.

His one regret was not studying abroad—on another planet. At 28, he’s finally gets a job on Jupiter. It’s everything he imagined and more.

What story will you tell with just 140 characters?

Do you have any tips for writing a story in just 140 characters? As a writer, what do you share on Twitter? Let us know in the comments.

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to write a story in 140 characters or less (real words only pls). Share in the comments section and even Twitter, if you want. And of course, don't forget to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

Monica is a lawyer trying to knock out her first novel. She lives in D.C. but is still a New Yorker. You can follow her on her blog or on Twitter (@monicamclark).

130 Comments

  1. C. M.

    He fixed her. She broke him. Never again would he trust someone with such a large collection of broken hearts. Never again would he try.

    Reply
    • Olanrewaju

      I love this piece because its like you tapped into my world

    • C. M.

      Thank you! I’m glad I could help you find something you can relate to, but I’m sorry you feel that way. :/ I hope all is well.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      That’s a choice!

    • C. M.

      Yes it sure is!

    • The Dire Tarrasque

      So much said with so few words.

    • C. M.

      Thank you!

  2. MICHAEL HOTCHKISS

    The brutalized corpse of the child molester lay on the pristine lawn in front of his house. The neighbors mixed reaction of horror, sadness and spite was palpable.

    Reply
    • S.M. Sierra

      I can see the mixed reactions, to both scenarios, the murder and the knowledge of what he was.

  3. bien osorio

    Oh God. Remember I just I told you I don’t want to be alone? F*ck! SEND HELP PLEASE. I’m hiding right now. Our stepdad’s here! Please Mikey!

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      What’s Mikey’s number: 911?

    • bien osorio

      Well, the kid’s problem isn’t exactly a 911 emergency. = )

  4. Karen Watkins

    Broken, weary, screaming for help. Screaming, screaming, screaming into silence.
    Nothing is changing or working. Still broken and weary. Hope slowly draining.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      That’s exactly what happens when you wait for it to happen!

  5. Malik WIlliams

    I honestly don’t remember anything last night. The only thing I could scratch up from my memory is the screaming. I must’ve torn it UP! But yet again, she was in my bed with red sheets. And I don’t remember buying red sheets before. . .

    Reply
  6. Renê Oliveira

    “Have no time!”, almost everyone says.
    The time owners do not repeat that bullshit. On windy days they will be flying kites.

    Reply
    • straitlinesgirl

      I love this! Something I need to remember every day. Thank you 🙂

    • Renê Oliveira

      We are all wasting time and just do not realize. Happy you liked!

  7. Dale Jennings

    “Begin” the machine said.
    “I can’t”, I whisper.
    “But you must!”
    I swallow fear; words flow.
    “Guilty – sentence is death”.
    It is the end now.

    Reply
    • S.M. Sierra

      Makes me think of how I feel when I want to write but nothing comes and how I feel afterwards when I finish a draft that it’s not good and I want to die.

    • Dale Jennings

      That’s why we write drafts though isn’t it? So they can be revised and polished. Happy writing – I hope this feeling doesn’t loom for a long time, if ever again…

  8. Jacqui

    Great exercise. I love it with my students, too!

    Reply
  9. Ken

    yeahicouldquitdoingmethanytimeiwantbutwhowouldwantto?

    Reply
    • Christine

      Well, that tells the whole story — with ATTITUDE, dude. 🙂

  10. Alicia

    I danced with a girl. A boy threw me out with parting thoughts. I didn’t know his name. I looked for him. Then ran into him suddenly.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Nice.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Better than over him!

    • Alicia

      OMG yes so much better lol

  11. Azure Darkness Yugi

    The prince kissed the princess, hoping a true love’s kiss will wake her. It failed.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Yes.

    • Azure Darkness Yugi

      Thank you.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      What a great lesson to successfully learn!

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      It’s not easy to get her together, eh?

  12. McSweeps

    Call from… “We have noticed suspicious activity in your account in the past 24 hours.” She didn’t clearly hear what button to push to suit her mood. Modern master of anxiety.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Brilliant.

    • McSweeps

      Thank you GG

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Delight in delete!

  13. Renee'

    Well 140 characters for me turned into 82 words…

    I thought about you today.
    We shared sun kissed days, steamy summer nights and the passion of
    rolling purple storms.
    Best friends and lovers.
    It could have been love, but I
    wore an armor over a scarred heart.
    Summer turned to fall. Daylight grew shorter as
    did our time together.
    I let it fade just as the green of summer turned blazon.
    Leaves fell as did we.
    Another season past to watch wistfully in the rearview mirror.
    I thought about you today.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Sappy, but at least enough sap to recall, remember, reminisce, reflect, regret, reignite, reinkindle. reintegrate, reinvigorate and resurrect!

      Thank God for sappy!

  14. iRoswell

    “Help,” she moans. Dust and plaster fill her lungs. A shaft of light appears, then a voice, “I see you! Your going to be okay!” She smiles.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Was that light shining from the end of a tunnel?

    • iRoswell

      The dust and plaster shows it’s something more modern than a tunnel. It filling her lungs and her moan for help tells you she’s trapped. So the shaft of light appearing suggests someone digging to rescue. Otherwise, the light would be more consistent.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      I was using ‘ the light at the end of the tunnel’ metaphorically as in those who report near death experiences: was wondering if her experience of the choking dust made her think she was dying rather than being rescued.

      I guess I read too much into it as an option your story was not considering.

      Sounds like you have a great story which includes this attempted rescue. Was it successful? Maybe that is not yet determined!

    • iRoswell

      Thank you for the feedback and your honesty. I’m really new to writing and I’m far from getting past that first million words that suck. I understand now where you were going.

  15. Olanrewaju

    Giggles were what filled the air. It was an ideal weather for the event,what more could they get-a chilly evening.
    “Hi, am Edward.”
    “Hi, am Lucy”
    He winked at her, she knew what he was thinking.
    They both danced!

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Relationships start: they may change for the better or for the worse, but they never end!

    • Christine

      You don’t need the “were what.” Save a few letters; it’s enough to say, Giggles filled the air. (Though I’d probably go with Laughter filled the air.)

  16. Donald R. Calloway

    ‪No story comes full circle: we aren’t; we are; and we continue to be. That is the creation story. Existence from some beginning without end‬.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Very nice.

    • Donald R. Calloway

      Thanks.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Tohu va Bohu: recycled and repurposed: transformed and transfigured in form and function!

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Contingent existence at that!

    • Donald R. Calloway

      From the moment we are created, we exist for all eternity.

  17. Saul Marchant

    If you fall into the water you’ll be lost, he said. Your remaining days will be washed away like grains of sand from the beach. So I jumped.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Love this.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      The Suicide Accomplice watched!

  18. MICHAEL HOTCHKISS

    Two roads diverged in a wood. I took the one less traveled so I didn’t see the meteor coming directly at the spot I stood. I never knew what hit me.

    Reply
    • Gorgeous Goddess

      Oooh, nice.

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Or perhaps you didn’t realize what you saw: meteors are hard to miss – especially from your perspective! Awe, I mean Aw!

    • Donna Bell

      Love the twist!

    • S.J. Siedenburg

      The first part reminds me of Robert Frosts poem “The Road Not Taken,” and then the twist hits. I love it! Did you think of the poem when you wrote it?

    • MICHAEL HOTCHKISS

      It’s a total ripoff of Frost’s poem. It ends the same in an ironic way. Frost’s version was “…and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” You see, same ending as mine!

    • S.J. Siedenburg

      Yes! I didn’t even notice that at first. It’s great how you drew from it!

  19. Christine

    Tyson gazed down at the water. “There’s no river on the way to Grandpas. Why are we on a bridge?”
    “We’re not lost, just a bit off course.”
    Ty sighed. One of those trips.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      “Of course we’re off course!”

    • LilianGardner

      This is good, Christine.

    • Christine

      Thank you. It’s a snippet from my recent blog post story, “The Scenic Route.”

      (christinegoodnough.com)

    • drjeane

      This is great! I was inspired to check out your blog to get “the rest of the story.”

    • Christine

      Thanks. Hope you like the whole scene.

  20. Monica

    These are amazing!

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      You! You are amazing!

  21. Gorgeous Goddess

    She could taste it. Whatever it was she could not decipher it. Wild, moving, hot, angry, wet. Above anger, there was foamy humor; sweet.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      Yup! Freed from anger by appropriate disillusionment, what before was bitter was now turned into sweetness of soul! Sweet indeed!

  22. Sheila B

    Having reset at a mountain yoga retreat, she implored for strength to endure the next 20 minutes. Her inner voice informed her, “The strength is already within you.”

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      “…the same strength that got her to the mountain yoga retreat…”

  23. Donna Bell

    She lovingly fed her “pets,” the deadly spiders no one knew she kept. Smiled, wished she could be there to see his terror when they got him.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      it’s precisely what she won’t see that she will see for the rest of her life everywhere she looks!

    • Donna Bell

      Interesting!!

    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      So you miss a few moments of terror on his face from which you rescue him by death, but will he miss even a moment of the torture embedded in your face knowing that it always him when your phone doesn’t ring: unrescued by him as long as you live?

    • Christine

      Eeeek! Poor guy.

    • Donna Bell

      Haha!

  24. Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

    Roses are Red!
    Violets are Blue!
    I made neither!
    Neither did You!

    Smell the Roses & Violets!
    Smell Me & You!
    Now stop and smell
    our Maker too!

    Reply
  25. jrh

    He drops me off.
    “Be home later,” he snarls.
    A dark house. I flip the switch. A shotgun and pistol stare at me.
    He watches from his car.

    Reply
    • Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

      A Voyeur as well as a Murderer: humh!

    • Anna Savastano

      Wow, you sure got a lot in there.

  26. Barry Herbert Parmeter M.A.

    Roses are Red!
    Violets are Blue!
    I made Neither!
    Neither did You!

    Smell the Roses and Violets!
    Smell Me and You!
    Then stop and smell
    Our Maker too!

    Reply
  27. meghana thanvi

    The country was saved from the terror of the demon as the lady commando shot the evil right in its head.
    The Mahishasur tale was once again repeated…

    Reply
  28. Gary G Little

    “And God said, ‘Let there be light!”

    pffft

    “Oh crap …”

    Bang, bang!

    “Whazza matter?”

    “God damn batteries are dead …”

    “Fitting …”

    Reply
    • Christine

      A domestic scene you had one day trying to set up some new gizmo? Maybe a lightening bolt would have helped. That’s what God uses to light things up. 🙂

    • Gary G Little

      I would prefer Zeus or Jupiter, depending upon your pantheon. Now there is a colorful character. 🙂

  29. Carol

    Writing a story in 140 characters is a piece of cake! I have just written a 25 word story for a competition with 120 characters. Hope I win!

    Reply
    • LilianGardner

      Best of luck. I hope you win. Please share your 25 word story with us.
      Thanks!

  30. jenjenzun

    He looked at me and said, “Do you still love me?”

    I can’t look at him.
    I can’t say a word.
    But my tears exposed me.

    Yes, every single day.

    Reply
  31. Geraldine Bengil

    My heart is broken and stone hardened. It filled with anger and pained.My life is full of wilderness.

    Reply
  32. Pedro Hernandez

    People in an old, wooden cabin.
    A Killer in the darkened woods.
    No survivors when dawn came.

    Reply
    • drjeane

      There is so much between the lines here. I could see the scene with just these few words.

  33. Rishabh Gupta

    Adam and Eve have an Apple each.
    Both walk.
    They come close.
    Tension rises.
    Eve breathes heavily.
    Adam screams.

    iPhone games are intense.

    Reply
    • LilianGardner

      Wow!

  34. Bist David Zhang

    She had no idea that there was a serial killer inside her house. After eight hours and her hand being severed, she killed him with a car.

    Reply
    • Pedro Hernandez

      Well there’s a heck of a story between those two sentences

    • Bist David Zhang

      lol i admit it’s a bit hard for me to make it in 140 characters

  35. Loretta M

    The toddler nursed, milk teeth ripping flesh until nothing was left but a Madonna smile. “So peaceful,” mourners awed, looking down at her.

    Reply
  36. LilianGardner

    This is an awesomw challenge… telling a story in 140 characters, but it’s also fun.

    Here’s my attempt.

    The shaggy dod waited patiently outside my gate for three days running. I took him in. He fills my life with his love and affection.

    “I love you,” Tom said
    .”Show me,” I challenged.
    He put me on his mo’bike and sped off.
    “I’m taking you home. Is it proof enough?”.

    Reply
  37. Seregìel Silme

    Don’t clean the blood; it’ll remain as a souvenir. Also, tell Dad it wasn’t his fault. He only destroyed my body-I’d already killed my soul.

    Reply
  38. Claire

    Make up on and dressed to the nines; she was ready for the party. A bullfrog sitting on the porch foiled her plans when she opened the door.

    Reply
    • Christine

      I can imagine her skewering a frog with a spike heel. One the other hand, maybe that was her date — once princely and charming and now, having dissed an old crone,…etc. 😉

    • Claire

      Wow, Christine, I didn’t really think about that at all, but it’s a “good take away” you got on my blurb. The simple fact is that she was afraid of frogs, which paralyzed her by its mere presence. Thanks for the comment. I honestly liked your interpretation better!

    • Christine

      You’re welcome. Nothing like injecting a little magic into the scene. (hehe)

  39. Sebastian Halifax

    He secretly loved her. She saw him as a friend. He betrayed her, offering her up as a sacrifice. She was brutally murdered.

    Reply
  40. Deena

    Love this post and challenge, Monica! Here’s mine:

    Got married. Had kids. Thought they’d be just like me, but they weren’t. Why
    didn’t anyone warn me? Kids should come with instructions.

    Reply
  41. April

    I settled in on the couch with my book. It was eerily quiet this evening, not normal. I stood up looking around and froze when i saw it…

    Reply
  42. TerriblyTerrific

    Oh, no. I prefer a story over something on, “Twitter.”

    Reply
  43. drjeane

    She said, “Good morning.” He said, “What’s good about it”? She said, “You are going home today.”

    The building was old and in disrepair, long neglected. I could see it new and waiting to meet the students who would be coming.

    How did my shoes get in the refrigerator? Why am I standing here naked? There is a story here somewhere, but I’m not sure I want to hear it.

    Looking down the hill from the peak, I can see there are many ways to get here. From the base there seemed to be only one.

    Reply
  44. S.J. Siedenburg

    She trusted him, then he shot at her. She left him distressed, and set out for revenge. In the end he died for his mistakes.

    Reply
  45. The Dire Tarrasque

    My ex seized a hammer, scowling from her seat. My heart quivered, but I had a job to do.
    “All rise,” said the bailiff.

    Reply
    • S.M. Sierra

      Nice suspense at the first line I thought she was about to use the hammer as a weapon when his heart quivered…nice ending at the realization he’s a Lawyer and she’s a judge.

  46. Shreya Modi

    They were best friends. She fell for him. He had fallen for someone else. He liked her but he loved someone. All he could do was help her through the pain.

    Reply
  47. S.M. Sierra

    “My heart, your heart, the dance they start, will quiver through the sands of time,” he said,.
    She believed, therefore she took his hand and jumped.

    Reply
  48. Alice Goethals

    This is my first story I have ever put up on this site. I wrote it from my own emotions.

    Trapped…
    Lost…
    Alone…
    That’s all I feel. I can’t help it though. I want to go home. I want to see the brightness again. I need help….. ANYBODY?

    Reply
  49. Courtnie

    Pepper Tom and Nosey Goesy hid behind a big oak tree to see and hear what was going on . They poked their heads out just a little.

    Reply
    • LilianGardner

      Sounds like a prompt for a super children’s story.

    • Courtnie

      Thank you so much . Had posted the first part of it for. It was just for writing practice. I think I will countiue to write it

  50. Rohan

    She seemed always at loggerheads with them, and none of them could figure out why. Her conclusions and methods of handling issues always perplexed them.
    On the surface, she seemed like a normal woman in her mid to late 50s (none of them was certain of that either), but interacting with her would open dimensions that were somehow unidimensional in an interdimensional way that deified logics.
    It made one wonder what she was like when she was younger. What type of little girl she was, what where the moulding impacts in her life that created the person she is today.

    Reply
  51. Lorna Robinson

    Red turned blue then a funny colour green
    Water ran down the window, she ran her finger across the droplet trail. She drew a heart in the fog of her breath on the cold glass.
    She turned quietly around and calmly walked across the room. She picked up the knife off the bench and held it up before her eyes. She studied the fine edge of the blade the sleek sheen of the steal she pressed her finger to the blade and watched transfixed as blood oozed from the cut. She felt the pain and smiled.
    She heard the creak of the door and the slight draught of air pass by her. She closed her eyes.
    Red turned blue then a funny colour green.
    Its time to sleep.
    Good night.

    Reply
  52. Rman

    He answered the calling. Everyone hunted him as he hunted
    the depraved distorted killer. He prayed to catch him before killing again.

    Reply
  53. Deepak Menon

    A cool breeze swept across my face as I entered the house.I tread in the dark to my room and in the moonlight I find me sleeping on my bed.

    Reply
  54. katyyylou

    The biggest mistake he had ever made stared back at him from the page. He knew it was over; he didn’t think he would survive prison.

    Reply
  55. Janey4

    She rarely felt alone; it’s not in her make up. But in the desert, parched and bleeding, she understood the crushing weight of loneliness.

    Reply
  56. P. Earls

    The
    stockade came into view on the fifth day of our walk. Papa held his head high
    as he watched the sun set on our new home. He turned and looked toward our
    homeland as darkness engulfed us. He hung his head. The only time I remember
    him hanging his head before is when Mama died.

    Reply
  57. Karley

    Broken, they found each other. She needed him. He loved her unconditionally. They were, and then they weren’t. What will come of their son?

    Reply

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