Ben Parzybok

Deep sea sandwiches!

Succinct, not the kitchen sink

I’m writing four installments of 250 words each for Mel Favara’s 1000 Word Reading Series, along with 3 other writers.

The setup is this:

The theme is ‘The Future’

Each week we get our assignment, which includes four words we must use – this week they are: granular, montage, tablecloth, and spurn and one phrase: “And the thing I most fear may come to pass, that

Assignments are due on Sunday night (or punishable by…?). It’s awesome fun writing under these kinds of bonds. Your story is half yours, yet at the same time you look for ways to wickedly foil the assigner – can I use all 4 words and the phrase in a single sentence? What if a dog bargs and the main character thinks it’s saying “Spurn! Spurn!” etc

If you are unfamiliar with the art of word counting, it’s a sort of addiction – however in writing novels I always count in the opposite direction. A 5,000 word day is a total blow-out that needs later the tender care of black licorice and bourbon to bring the brain back from the brink. For me, 1,000 – 1,500 words is a solid day’s work. If I hit 300-400 words only, they better be well done.

Trying to write 250 words is a tremendous challenge. I’m a long distance runner, not a sprinter, I guess. And so each week after we get our assignments I easily bang out 600 or 900 or 1200 words, and then I spend the rest of the week fretting and deleting and fretting and removing ideas and removing characters and jettisoning the garbage and so on.

Secondly, it’s my first all-out 100% science fiction attempt, and it’s a blast.

The reading will be at Maiden in the Mist, 639 SE Morrison St., Portland, OR in the first week or so of March. I’ll post date, etc. when it gets closer.

Author: Benjamin Parzybok

My name is Ben Parzybok and I'm a novelist and programmer living in Portland, OR. @sparkwatson


Leave a Reply