Of words and limits | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 07, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:10 AM, May 07, 2021

Talespeople Spiels

Of words and limits

A frequently-asked question during this year's Sehri Tales was 'why the 250-word limit?' My knee-jerk reaction has been to want to snap 'Do you also ask why a limerick has to be five lines, or a haiku three?" Since anger never solved anything, I figured a more level-headed explanation was necessary.

Sehri Tales was created as an exercise in writing discipline. The first part was of course committing to doing this within a narrow window of time every night. The second part was to be conscious of form and the rules of various poetry/micro-fiction formats. I found the challenge of these restrictions very grounding, and it has helped my writing and mental health more times than I can count. That's what I decided to stick to when I made it available to other participants.

For all latest news, follow The Daily Star's Google News channel.

But don't just take my word for it. The standard upper limit for most forms of flash fiction – and let's please not forget that Sehri Tales is essentially a flash fiction contest – is 250 words. You'll find it easier to get published if you stick to that. That's also a good size for college essays, mission statements, book blurbs and elevator pitches, so, those are good writing muscles to build. 

It's easy to rant and ramble while trying to find a story. But if you can distil your idea into a smaller piece, cutting it down to its very essence, that's a powerful writing tool to include in your skillset. Happy writing!

 

The author is a writer and journalist, and the creator of the annual Sehri Tales creative writing challenge.   

Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star Android & iOS News App. Click here to download it for your device.

Grameenphone:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 22222

Robi:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2222


Banglalink:
Type START <space> BR and send SMS it to 2225

Leave your comments

Top News

Top News

Top