Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #227

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Chase
  2. Rude
  3. Iron
  4. Devil
  5. Space
  6. Outcry
  7. Suggest
  8. Overt
  9. Hold
  10. Massive

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


43 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #227”

  1. Cornelius Watson refilled both glasses. He handed one to the devil, careful to avoid any appearance of rudeness. Pierce Michaels was the senior partner of Michaels, Wyatt, and Meyers. He had never lost a defendant to the clutches of the legal system. Watson had just learned why. He decided to be overt.

    “So, how much are judges going for, these days?” He could barely hold his glass and he realized how silly he must look, trying to maintain an iron façade. Still, he didn’t want to break down and start blubbering. He set his glass down gently and waited.

    “You misunderstand me. I would never suggest bribery. Imagine the outcry if word got out that justice were for sale.” Michaels took a delicate sip, smiling with approval.

    “Oh, please. It happens every day. I do enough of it clearing red tape on ground leases. They’re greedy like the rest of us. They just have the luxury of not having to chase their windfall.” Watson fidgeted.

    “There is a massive difference between stealing land and ending lives; stolen space can always be reclaimed if the victim has enough resources.” Michaels paused, looked at the frightened little man seated across from him.  “The inherent risk of manipulating justice lies in the fallibility of manipulators. I’m merely advising you to establish a defense fund that can’t be seized, frozen or forfeited. The firm calculates the expenses you’re likely to incur. Things like billable hours, expert testimony and legal research are thereby capped at a mutually beneficial level, leaving space for all parties to receive just compensation for services rendered.”

    Watson wasn’t having it. “Listen, Pierce. I don’t have time for games. I can understand how this works. I just need to know how much.” He shifted forward on the love seat.

    Michaels remained unruffled. “Cash movements can be traced. Ownership records, not so much. We have developed certain economies of scale, shall we say. In the past, we were reluctant to receive illiquid assets as compensation. That no longer represents a problem. You simply decide which assets you can live without. Give me a list and we’ll tell you when that list is complete. To help you get started, we took the liberty of listing a handful of candidates.” He reached into his suit jacket and withdrew an envelope. He placed it on the coffee table and stood up.

    Watson jumped up and ushered him to the door. “I’ll call you.”

    Michaels turned back. “No. Don’t speak to me ever again until this is over. One of our associates will communicate with you. If you have any problems, get yourself another law firm.”

    • Jen says:

      I would so not be a good criminal. It’s too much work. You’re good at nuanced characters, with that sort of grey sense of right and wrong. I’m going to be thinking about this sentence for a while: The inherent risk of manipulating justice lies in the fallibility of manipulators

      • Thank you, Jen. I’ve always been intrigued by the conspiracy theories, the exposés and the bungled attempts to subvert legal systems. Of course, when we see things that make us question whether the rabble-rousers are on to something, we store it away. 

        The interesting thing about manipulators is that they can be from either side of the coin.




    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitch: Hell yeah! That was bad-ass.

      • Thanks, Shane. I appreciate your correcting that typo.

        I really thought I was going to wind this story down. Perhaps it just reached one of Jen’s wrastle points? I wouldn’t even know which one. LOL




  2. Jen says:

    As a side note, I skimmed back through Story Engineering today and was totally overwhelmed by the information. I mean, I wrote up notes on the 6 core competencies, the five milestones, the four parts, the pinch points….It’s all rather, well, overwhelming. Still. I get it. Anyone else have ways to manage all that great info? Seems like a lot to wrastle. Yeah. I just said wrastle. 

    Inevitably, James Thurston, or so he called himself, had an ego even more massive than that which he presented, disproportionate, as these things usually are, to his actual charm, ability or success. I know I was far too pliable for his devilishly arcing eyebrow and clear affinity for the finer things; he had, after all affixed me with his attentions. How garrish and overtly open I’d been when really I do expect rather more from myself. What can I say? A sucker for the benjamins. 
    If my son heard me so openly chasing the, what was the term, sugar daddies, his gaping maw would smack and blab and splutter in opposition. He’d gasp and sermonize. His bellicosity would suggest a rude lowness that he could match, would, in fact, match with his animosity. He was not a man of iron will or ambition or even of the vaguest sense of decision. Therefore the only situations in which he could be counted on for melodramatic outcry were when I mentioned the trust. If my hold over him, or really any man for that matter, weren’t so pathetic, it could smack of comedy. Dark comedy. 
    Ah, but now, in this vast bed, a virtual galaxy of space stretched out before me. My goodness, it was practically cliche. It was cliche! Bringing home a man, whose exit in the dark hours I did not notice nor care to notice, wrapping my skin in yesterday’s linens, hair and makeup a broken mirror of the prior night. But I did not have time for retrospect, or introspect, or any kind of ‘spect. I had a day to plan, elongated before me like the monstrous, empty bed, so many slots in a blank planner, lines unfilled with import. I had to find a way to fill the time until…well, I wouldn’t think about that yet. 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: Have you see this poster of Larry’s process? http://storyfix.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/StoryStructure_poster2.pdf

      That should help. Also, I suggest reading some of his deconstructions he’s done with various books(scroll down on the right side of his toolbar under categories. For you, I’d start with this one since your stories are so character driven – http://storyfix.com/welcome-to-%E2%80%9Can-education%E2%80%9D ). Super helpful. You can actually watch the DVDs of the books he deconstructs and you WILL notice all the points he mentions. And watching DVDs is a ton quicker than reading the books to learn the structure and see all the points unfold. Of course, when you actually go to write your own book, studying the actual books of the deconstruction gives you a better picture of how successful authors did it.

      I’ve yet to write a book, but I’m practicing all the time for doing so. I understand how overwhelming the process can seem, but check out this guest post I wrote for him. Should change your mind a tad. http://storyfix.com/the-help-seeing-the-structure-in-living-color-literally

      • Jen says:

        Thakn you. I can not tell you how many times I’ve tried to organize the info in my obviously tiny brain. If I start looking at scene execution, I think then my characterization will go all to hell. If I make sure that pace and plot points are strong, then I’m neglecting concept or theme. So, I’ll read through those links, and thank you, kind sir. 

        I followed all the rules, had the novel all mapped out and I just can not seem to get a grasp on revisions, can not seem to figure out where to start and how to keep it all sort of organized. Again, thanks.  

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Jen: I’d think of the 4 parts of a story, the two plot points, two pinch points, etc., no differently than the 10 CCC challenge words. Just tools to keep your creativity focused so it doesn’t write 200k unfocused words. Other than that, it’s play time! 🙂

    • I dunno, Jen. You seem to be doing a bang up job with this story! I absolutely loved this line:

       Bringing home a man, whose exit in the dark hours I did not notice nor care to notice, wrapping my skin in yesterday’s linens, hair and makeup a broken mirror of the prior night.

      You presented an excellent “show” of morning after regrets – even if the main character is in denial by claiming she has no time for any kind of spect. (LOL at that one.)

      As for the structure, apart from Shane’s more practical advice, I truly think that people like you and me resist the unknown. While I certainly appreciate the concepts behind story engineering, I can no more adhere to it than I can build a birdhouse. Or follow along with any number of television chefs who constantly tell me how easy it is to make this dish ahead of time and treat my entire family. Blah, blah, blah.

      For the birds, I buy a birdbath, the dinner, my wife roasts a bird, I make soup from the carcass. Nothing gets wasted and I don’t feel incompetent.

      My only concession to story structure is to do a J. K. Rowling-type storyboard in Excel.




      • Meredith says:

        well said, Mitch. I can’t wrap my head around structuring creativity so much the art is choked from it. I am a sculpture and painter as well and it all started with my gut, my eyes merely interpreting what was there. I think that’s why I struggle with words so  much. They’re supposed to make sense. aaack!

        • Thank you, Meredith. I’m glad that you shared your passion for sculpting and painting. Your poetry reflects those aspects. You need not worry about making sense. Because your poems do make sense.
          I think you simply mean that you struggle to mold the words into the story that’s waiting to get out. CCC really, really helps me with that. I sometimes joke that I wouldn’t have a story if it were not for those ten little words.

  3. Diane Krause says:

    “Just cut to the chase, would you? I don’t have all night.”
    “You are so rude, Eddie. I don’t know why I even try to talk to you anymore. Asshole.” 
    “Oh, cut the pity crap, Violet, and just get to the point. You know I — What the hell?! That guy just took my parking space!”
    Eddie slammed on the brakes, threw his car in park, and sprang from the vehicle, marching over to seek his justice. 
    “Hey, ****-face, that was MY parking space. What do you think you’re doing?”
    The Offender had just locked his car door and turned to face his accuser. His gaze, though, rested squarely on the big blue eyes of Violet, who stood directly behind Eddie. 
    “Well, hello,” said The Offender. “I’m Bond. James Bond. And who might you be?”
    The Offender’s voice made Violet’s knees quake, and sent a shudder through her insides. 
    “Violet. Violet Marchmellow.”
    “And she’s MINE,” Eddie interjected. “Didn’t you hear me? That was MY parking space, and this is MY girl. Who the hell do you think you are?” 
    “I believe my introduction was complete,” replied Bond, The Offender, “and I will be more than happy to return your property, provided you can provide accurate proof of ownership. Otherwise, I belive, sir, that your outcry of injustice may be unwarranted.” 
    Eddie’s rage exploded, and he rushed at Bond, The Offender, swinging the 7-Iron he gripped firmly in his right hand. However, Eddie found himself outsmarted and out-gunned, and in an instant, he was flat on his back, with stars in his eyes and a massive lump taking shape on the back of his head. 
    “May I suggest,” said Bond, standing over him, “that in the future, you hold your elbow closer in, turn your club to the outside, and be a bit less overt with your macho bravado. Perhaps then you will be a more worthy opponent.” 
    Bond straightened his tie and smoothed out the cuff of his jacket. 
    “Violet, would you care to join me for a drink?” 
    “I would love to join you for a drink.” 

    Violet looped her arm through Bond’s, and together, they strolled toward the door of the bar.

    “So, James, are you from around here? You are one handsome devil.”  

    • Diane, this was funny. That was Bond through and through.




    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Diane: HOLY BLEEP-SAUCE! That was fantastic. You had me chuckling aloud with this one. Wow!

      Hey everyone, Diane is a fellow editor at Sean Platt’s Sterling & Stone publishing company. Just wanted to throw that out there so you all knew. That was so funny, Diane.

      • Diane Krause says:

        Why, thank you, Shane, for the winning endorsement! 🙂 Perhaps one of these word lists will strike one of my serious chords, but for some reason, they seem to bring out the snarky side of me. Isn’t fiction awesome? Perhaps I’ll combine all of your CCC word lists and come up with something fun to submit to Sterling & Stone. 

  4. Meredith says:

    The massive tree was close. Out of breath, legs crumbling under the chase, she kept her eyes on that tree. She could make it. She just had to hold on a bit longer and run like the devil.
    It came at her at 6 in the morning. She didn’t know what the hell was going on. All she knew was there was an overt break-in of her apartment and the rude fuckers were ransacking her place looking for something. They never let it slip, what it was they were looking for, but when they realized she was there (after only 3 hours of damned sleep), the space in her lungs shrunk. They hauled Roxy out of bed (luckily she’d taken her friend’s suggestion to start wearing pjs to bed) like a ragdoll.
    When they weren’t finding what they wanted, they started asking her. “Where is it? We know you know! You were there so where is it?”
    What emerged from her was nothing short of an outcry, “What the hell is it and maybe I can tell you. But I don’t have the slightest idea what the fuck you are talking about.”
    Not a good idea to get smart with these guys she found out when she was hit in the thigh with the iron poker. Damn, she thought, that fireplace had been useless up to now. She vowed to get rid of it while searching for a way out. They’d left the door open and that was when she bolted.

  5. sh13151223 says:

    Devil chased in
    a massive iron hold
    with overt rudeness.
    A suggested outcry
    was spaced out.
    Soul longs for emancipation.

  6. margaret says:

    A massive outcry  goes out into space
    every time some rude person needs the devil to race…
    and overtly weaves through traffic sans grace.

    I suggest he hold his horses and bide his time
    or eventually he will pay for his crime.
    The police will give chase and decorate his arm
    with iron bracelets, and that would be Karm(a)  :)                



  7. Shane Arthur says:

    “Oh Billy! Da outcry! Hold me up; I thinks my legs is overtly suggestin’ I’s about to faint. Dat rude devil Curly-SueBob done tooked pictures of our massive love-makin’ sessions and posted ‘um online. Oh, I needs me a rum-chaser right abouts now!”

    “Damn, Bobby! She was big weren’t she? No wonder dat file was hoggin’ all da server space. Must-a been crazy hog-lovin’ dat gal.”

    “Billy, thank God a picture ain’t out there of her ironin’ my slappy wit’ her spiked sex-toy rolling-pin”

  8. Rebecca says:

    Some people believe the ‘devil‘ makes them do bad things,
    “To suggest this is an outcry,” most spiritual gurus would say.
    You and you alone hold massive power within your being,
    This is a rude awakening for most human beings.
    Create a sacred space within your home where you can meditate,
    Be like water, not like iron. Be flexible and try to go with the flow.
    Stop the chase for ‘who’ causes you grief and pain in your life,
    Don’t overt your eyes when you look in the mirror and find the answer.

  9. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thanks! 🙂

  10. The Sage of Bayou Billy…

    So I’m sittin on the front porch eatin’ a big ol bowl a gumbo when a cold shiver done give’d me goosebumps. My wife, my sweet Yvonne, said it was the devil dancin’ on my grave. Well I don’t know’d about that cuz I ain’t dead yet. B’sides, I reckon the devil gots more important things to do then Riverdance with all them bad girls he done collected o’re the years. Comes to think of it, if I was down there I’d might chase me three or two of dem women of lesser moral values. Now I knows wit all the female readers they’ gonna be an massive outcry of my chauffer… choven… chauvinistic remarks cuz it’s rude to think of women as nuttin’ more than a piece of meat, but ya’ll gots to hold on to yer britches cuz it weren’t my actions that done got them down there in the first place. They done earned that all by theyselves. Bless their little hearts.

    Anyways, I don’t wanna be talkin’ about that no more just incase “The Kid” is readin’ this here installment. So I suggest we moves along to somethin’ else like… ummm… Okay, so I done runn’d outta ideas. I gots to put on my thinkin’ cap cuz this is gonna take some serious concentration.

    Maybe I oughts to tell you all bouts the time I use-ta be in the army. I wuz part of a black-ops overt operation… or wuz it a covert operation? I can’ts r’member but Lord-a-mighty, I haven’t been that scared since I was standing at the alter. I wuz supposed to say “I do” but wit Yvonne’s daddy pointing a shotgun at my head it was more like “I gots to.” That reminds me… I done read somewhere that “I am” is the shortest sentence in da world. That’s nuttin’ special cuz I knows that “I do” is the longest sentence in the world. Single peoples still in love might not understand that statement so let’s not spoil the surprise for them.

    So where wuz I? Oh yeah, I was in a Black-Op squad and I say’d to myself, “Self,” and I recognized the voice right away cuz it sounded just like me. “Self,” I say’d, “How come is it they call it the Black-Ops when everyone wuz car-cashun… car-cajun… ah hell, we wuz all white?” My bestest bud Boudreaux weren’t allowed to join the special forces and it wuzn’t cuz he weren’t car-cajun, it wuz cuz he wuz smart like dump truck. He’s a nice guy but his crayon box ain’t x’actly full. Probably cuz Boudreaux say’s he likes the purple crayons cuz they taste like grapes. So needless to say the space between his ears has a vacancy sign. Why just last weekend he got his-self locked in the grocery store and done near starved to death.

    I remembers we wuz in third grade for second time together and the teacher asked Boudreaux what the four seasons wuz. Boudreaux smiled and say’d, “Onyons, Bell Peppers, Celery and Garlic.”

    Did I ever tell he turned into a mighty good cook? Mais yeah, he gots his-self a job at Thibideux’s Restaurant and Bait Shop as da head chef. His gumbo is almost as good as Yvonne’s. He just gots to iron out a few things in his recipe, like learnin’ dat a lobster is not a crawfish on steroids.

    Anyways, dat’s just about all the time I haz for today. One of these daze I will finish my story about the black-ops mission I wuz on.

    Until then always remember: If your high school’s rendition of the national anthem begins with, “Jambalaya, crawfish pie, filet gumbo” then you just might have a little Cajun blood in ya.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Kenn: You were born to write this style of book, Kenn ole’ buddy! Still smilin’.


      P.S. Make sure you save all your files locally. I don’t have time to update your pages these days on account Sean Platt done started a publishing company and is gettin’ some serious edit time from me. 🙂

      • @Shane Thanks Shane. I really enjoy writing in this style. Writing Bayou Billy is like a breath of fresh air… seasoned with good old fashioned, tongue-in-cheek humour 🙂
        Yes, I will start saving the files locally for the next Bayou Billy collection. Publishing company eh? Sweet. Tell me more.

  11. Kelly says:


    Well, we’ve made it through hurricanes and health scares.

    Health terrors, really. Maybe we’re not fully through, either.

    Bank account’s still a rude, crying bird, mouth always gaping for more. I don’t mean to suggest that things are hunky-dory, not by a long shot. The devil’s still on my tail, and from the way you’re panting I’d say you still think you’re being chased, too. But our troubles are not so overt as they once were.

    Or we’ve learned to hold ourselves just a little stronger than we used to. Maybe we’ve lowered our expectations for life (again). Maybe we’ve realized that with a massive amount of willpower and gritted teeth we can move the needle a lot farther than we can with an outcry against the inherent injustice of life.

    Maybe it’s a good thing. My heart was once made of soap bubbles and song snippets, fragile and fleeting. Now I think my iron ticker can take just about anything. Small shift, really, that only hurts a little.

    As long as I know where you live, so we can sit like this, close the space between us with intense and longing glances, and cry (just a little!), together.

    • @Kelly: Awesome!

      P.S. How’s The Kid? She still writing too?

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks, Shane!

        The Kid’s doing too little (creative) writing these days. She’s bogged down in homework and can’t see picking up a pen when not required to as fun, these days. 😦 Doesn’t seem to be a very balanced 2012 for either of us, actually. Well, maybe 2013 holds more balance for us. “Tomorrow is another day,” as the saying goes, & next year’s got 365 of them…

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