How to make every word count when writing about people, places and things

If you’d like to bring your story to life in a tight space — say, 500 words or less — try traveling back in time to your 3rd or 4th grade classroom. Back then, your teacher most likely instructed you to write short pieces about a memorable person, place or thing.

He or she probably advised you to identify a theme — and then narrow the scope of your story — by selecting a character, a setting or an object that was relevant to your theme. Of course, some of these writing steps may not come in that exact order. For example, you may be drawn to a certain character as you write your first draft, only later recognizing the theme of your story because of that character.

With all of that in mind, here are some tips for describing people, places and things in short passages.

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