Wednesday, 28 November 2012

What Does 500 Words Look Like?

stickman shows his 500 word post to a friend
The writing on this page will be about 500 words - the point being to demonstrate what it looks like.

It doesn't matter a great deal what it is about - it will wander along in a reasonably simple and quick fashion, depending on your reading pace of course.

The purpose, and all writing has to have a purpose, except the best sort, which is writing that doesn't - the purpose being to give a rough idea of words on a page, and how much space 500 of them take up.

I guess that most people would be horrified to talk about words being used as filler, but the truth is, that is all writers do.  Sure, they can dress it up as great meaningful prose, or important news or even poetry - but it is all just letters, arranged to lesser or greater effect.

For my part, I love words and playing with them, shifting them around in my head and then laying them out - attempting to make a coherent point about something.  The fun of the surprise gives me great pleasure.

On this occasion I am working within a narrow remit.  It is to show you what 500 of these beauties look like when laid end to end.

Obviously, unless you have a very wide screen, they will not appear in a single line but in a series of mini paragraphs - the two sentence rule being the internet standard at present.  Eventually we will end up with a single word being sufficient for the average reader with at least two lines of space and a video to alleviate the extreme stress of reading.

I might point out at this stage that the word count is a disappointingly slim three hundred or so.  That means more work for the both of us to get to the end.  I would say "I'll keep it short" but there is a target here that I intend to hit.

Sometimes, when the subject matter is a little more, how shall we say... interesting, then 500 words is nowhere near enough.  On a title like this though I'm almost pushing it to get there.  Still, the average paragraph is fifty or so, and it doesn't take a whole lot of waffle to put a few together.

I wonder what it is you are going to be writing?  A school essay, a job application, maybe a love letter?  Five hundred words of endearment should go a long way I should think, although I am no expert.  There was a time once, I can tell you, although sadly - fifty words would probably cover it.

Whatever it is you are aiming for, I wish you good luck and as we reach the finish point I hope you find it easy enough.  I will say that practice makes writing very easy, and it's more fun than it probably looks.

Well, I enjoy it.

That's it by the way - five hundred words, including these.  Good luck!

Here's a guy who knows all about writing...

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