I came across a writing challenge on Friday. Janet Reid, a famous literary agent, picked five random words and asked her blog readers to tell a 100-word story using all five.
So I did.
And I’m reposting the story here for you. You can see all the entries here, if you’re interested.
Here are the five words:
The rules are pretty simple. Use all five words, in proper names if you have to or as part of another word, if such a word exists. She gives you fair warning that, although allowed, using a word as a proper name is frowned upon since that makes the writer’s job easier.
Here’s what I came up with. To be fair, I did this in 10 minutes at work (shh, don’t tell on me).
“Evil is its own reward,” said the grand duchess.
“I don’t know,” the executioner said. “I kind of like getting tips.”
The chopping block gleamed, stained with the virus of discontent. How clever of her enemies to hide it in their monochromatic blood. “Did I miss anyone?”
“No,” the executioner mumbled. “But this fell out of the last victim’s pocket.” He held up a sack of coins.
“Cash back bonus!” A blush of satisfaction bloomed in the duchess’s cheeks. “Now, call that piper, will you?”
The executioner sighed. “Everyone here gets paid but me.”
Sometimes, you have to look for small, fun things so you don’t get overwhelmed by the big things. Between the song lyrics I rewrote last week and this little flash piece, I can tell my brain is still alive in there. Trust me–it doesn’t always feel that way when I’m mired in revisions. These little projects help me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Someday, I’ll get to write something from scratch again. But not until the next book is as good as I can make it.
That reminds me…there’s a blog post or two brewing in my head right now, about the dangerous and unsustainable pace many indie writers are not only participating in, but encouraging. But that’s a subject for another post on another day. For now, let’s just have fun.
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