So I caught up with my writer friend - he was more successful with the 200 in 50 exercise than me. Though he took a very different approach. He used a random word generator to give him 50 words (swapping in a few connectives to make it easier) and then used those from the start. He ended up with a piece of writing of around 120 words that had a sort of narrative to it. He said it helped to have the perimeters of the words set out from the start. Which I can definitely see as an advantage. We discussed a few ways the exercise could be tackled in its original method and agreed to try again for when we meet next week. See how I get on this time around.