17 One-Sentence Stories

20080609_subdivision_900x600Another experiment in fiction…

1. He left his castle in the sandbox hoping someone might visit it.

2. It was a street added to tendrils in his imagination.

3. Their neighbor’s “hello” weaved past empty boxes stacked in the entrance hall.

4. Summer baked the pavement—heat rose as from a new hell beneath his feet.

5. The girl in the desk ahead glanced to the side, perhaps to look at him.

6. When he reread the note later, he knew he couldn’t give it to her.

7. The dance not even half-way over, he worried no slow songs remained.

8. Her mom called her in, but he stayed in the tree’s vee dreaming her echo.

9. His father stayed shut in his bedroom, and that winter seemed chiefly gray.

10. The red eye of the phone machine blinked, its endless notice persistent.

11. His best friend warned him no one wants to be known as one half of a pair.

12. The cellar door promised cooler darkness—they took the steps together.

13. They would drive separately along highways she’d marked in daisy yellow.

14. Memory is cruel and made him believe what is so was always so.

15. What if other lives cross into this one, creating alternate webs?

16. Amid everything strewn about, nothing seemed accidentally broken.

17. She did his laundry then left his bag wide open on their unmade bed.


Filed under American Sentences, Doubt, Experiments, Fiction, Fiction writing, Identity, Laments, life, Love, Memory, Nostalgia, Place, Writing

6 responses to “17 One-Sentence Stories

  1. I am a newbie blogger–the site and my intent still incubating. I find these sentences beautiful and evocative. Inspiring.

    • dmarshall58

      Thank you! It’s all about the practice of course. The more hours we spend at writing, the better we’ll be. Sometimes it’s great fun to concentrate on sentences, the basic unit of written thought. You can work and work at them until they are just what you like. Then, when you work on a larger scale, that perspective hangs like an afterimage before everything you do. As an exercise, I’d recommend writing a story this way. Even if the results aren’t worth saving, the experience will be valuable. Thanks for visiting and best of success. –D

  2. Peter Newton

    17 writing prompts–these are great David. An artist’s eye for fine detail.

    • dmarshall58

      Thanks Peter. I was trying to give myself the strictest parameters–seventeen syllables per sentence, each sentence an autonomous narrative, and all seventeen sentences (at least potentially) creating a single story as well.

      The writers I work with at school seem to fall into two general groups, those who rely on moments of inspiration to compel them and those who assign themselves tasks as a way to prod them to work. You can guess which I am.

      Hope you’re well, –D

  3. Not sentences but poems! Poems! Still your forte…

    • dmarshall58

      Maybe they are poems. I take the greatest interest in arranging words, and sometimes they seem to present themselves and aren’t really chosen at all. I often wish I worked the other way–from ideas rather than language–but my habits are pretty set at this point. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

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