Up to the Challenge!

Happy Wednesday!  I was thinking last night, and I thought of something really cool I could do here.  There are lots of great resources for creative writers on the web like podcasts and online courses that give prompts and mini “challenges”.  So I thought, “Why don’t I publish my responses to these prompts here?”  It’s great for writing practice and exercise, and it’s a way to expose more people to the great advice from great writers.

I begin with the first challenge presented in the first episode of “Writing Challenges” from the university of Warwick.  This is available in two forms on iTunes. (as a podcast and a class)  I chose the podcast form.

Summary of the challenge: Open a book of fiction or poetry at random, and place your finger on any word.  Write the word, as well as the three words before and after it to make a seven word phrase.  Now, freewrite for 5 minutes and see what you come up with.  (You must use the seven word phrase, no matter how crazy it is!)

Now, here’s what I wrote.  I understand it’s freewriting so nobody’s supposed to read it, but I’ll post it anyway.  Obviously it’s not the greatest, but…

His voice came back tinny through the speaker, a sure sign he was driving again.  exasperated, Johnathan hung up.

“It’s like he doesn’t have time for any of us anymore.”

Chloe leaned against the closet door, blowing her nails dry.  “Almost like he’s got a life.”

John decided not to respond to that.  The Skinners had been around for years, and if Tim wanted to ignore that he saw no wrong in it.

“But…sounds like he’s got you down.”  Chloe moved on to her feet, neatly polished in clashing colors.  “Anything else on your mind?”

John whipped around, “I’d just like to know where he’s going.”

More blowing from Chloe.  “Wouldn’t we all…”

Okay, so I wrote a short story on the fly.  That’s usually what happens when I freewrite, since that comes the most naturally to me.  Who the Skinners are, where Tim’s headed, I have no idea, but that doesn’t matter.

The seven word phrase was “voice came back tinny through the speaker”, from the book Artemis Fowl.  I included it right in the beginning so I could use it as a starting point for inspiration.

I’ll definitely continue listening to this podcast, (maybe even review it?) I’m actually about five episodes in.  Expect more challenges from others, too!