One-Syllable Word Writing Exercise Examples

Many creative writing teachers swear by the one-syllable word writing exercise, which forces students to rely on those basic, elemental words -- the kinds of words that shaped our early lives. The constraints cause writers to come up with more creative uses of language, and of course, any word limit encourages tighter, more thoughtful writing. Don't take our word for it, though. Read the responses below, then try the one-syllable word writing exercise yourself. 

Autumn Wrote:

In a town on the edge of a wood, a small boy stood in front of a shop. At the shop, they were to hand out free treats, which he felt a great need for.
Once he got one, he ate it in haste.
May I please have one more? asked the small boy when he was done.
No, said a girl.
But I am not full, the boy said in a sad voice.
She frowned and with a nod of her head, gave her okay. The small boy filled with joy and with a laugh, held out his hand.

Steve Wrote:

We need to not lose our minds as we go forth in style. Do not look back on change, see no loss, dream with eyes wide open. To attain that which is most high one, must fall, let it not be you or I, and let us rise and grow to rise above it all. Come to the Zen, stay calm and push the bad to the side, come straight through to the core and be at peace, stay at peace and be the one. Find your self do not lose yourself, and know, now that you are found, you were lost even when you did not know.

I thought I’d give this a shot. It was fun, you have to rephrase things and it warps it to sound like poetry, but interesting nonetheless. I hope to frequent here as I am looking to get back into writing and hopefully someday publishing some works.

SisterSue Wrote:

"Dear God," she wrote, "I have been good all my life. I lived in a way I thought you would want. Be it man or beast, I treat all with love. But I ask, is life how it should be? And," she went on, "Why did you leave?" She paused on the next words. "Did you leave me?" she asked in her head, "or did I leave you?" She threw the note and pen to the hard floor and cried. "Who left who? Do I have a soul? Is this life all there is?"

She feared the truth she knew.

Josiah Gabriel Fuentes Wrote:

The man showed great care and love for those near to him. Though he held all the world, he kept no thing as his. What he had he gave to all, and he gave all that he had. Life, he held not dear. His fear was not for things that fade, neither in death nor pain, but for the love of his dad he moaned and groaned in his heart. Do not leave me! Though he knew the void was not in vain, for the great love had for all he would gain. Head raised up high to the sky, with gasps of breath, he cried and cried, Why have you left me? To where have you gone?

Jude Wrote:

When the sun hung so low first thing, the day could not be good. They flinch when it strikes their eyes, wish for shade and cool black night.
"Did you hear it?" said in low tones. A strange echo, all through the hours the sun hung high. Day-to-day life stays the same, but the sound is changed.
The sun’s not set for three days.
Dry land asks with a raspy gasp, "why?"
The beasts and birds don’t see, but you can just sort of breathe. Heat.
Her will is done. in the first dark since, the sky let out a sea of rain. We dance, we sing, we praise her grace.

I went just a couple words over and just can’t find ones I’m willing to take out x.x I’m not sure if it’s coherent: it’s really restrictive to just use one-syllable words. I had no idea!

John Reed Wrote:

John left school and went to sea. He had a good mate who taught him how to tie knots and things. His first trip was to Caen in France and he had a few drinks of wine in a bar and sang a song which was nice. On the way back to the boat he fell off the kerb and broke his wrist. It hurt a lot when the nurse put it in a splint. A man took him back to the boat where his boss told him never to drink wine in France as he thought it was crap!

Marcus Hidalgo Wrote:

The boy sat on the dock and wept.
He cried for the loss of love. A tear in his heart so big it seemed too much to bear.
He glanced up at the fish in the lake and wished to be with them. To be free with them for a few days is all he asked for. To not think about the life he must face. He would not go back to the house. Not back to the home where he knew her. Where her bones would be lain. Not back to the house where his mom had died.

Matt Wellheuser Wrote:

The orange bat flew through the door.
"Hey! Josh! Catch that thing, it's rare!"
Swish! "Got it!"
"This will cap it."
"Not just yours, but mine too!"
"We will be rich!"
"Past dreams, dear."
They left the room, arm in arm, for a bright, broad life of fame.

Janalma Wrote:

He had been out of jail for two weeks when he took the small girl from her yard. He cut her hair to look like a boy. She was found at a car wash the next day. She was not hurt, she was fine. She went home with her mom and dad and all was joy. God heard all the pleas for her.

The cops found out that he was a thief and had shot a man to death, then took the girl. When the cops caught up with him, he put a gun to his head and “BAM.” Dead.

This is quite a challenge, but it’s fun to try. This is my fifty word effort. It is amazing to me how much we use words with several syllables when we talk or write.

Texsond Wrote:

The last time I saw him he was my hero. Now he was just a man. He was still my dad, but not my friend. His power over me was gone. I did not seek his favor and that fact made each of us wary of the other. The old rules and words did not work, my way or no way. Now he sought me out and it was too late for me to come home to his way. The path of my life has been about my way and on my road to peace with him.

Parrot Wrote:

She’d grasped hold of it last night. It had been spot on. But in a flash, it was gone to who knows where. It should have been dealt with when she thought of it then. But now it will have to wait, ‘cause it’s just not there. Where did it go, that flash in the night? To a dark space in her brain, to a blank slate in her mind, or to the void in her soul? She does not know where they go or how to call them back, these thoughts that fly in and out of her head.