Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #258

This is a writing prompt. Bet you can’t do it! Take the 10 random words below and crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story! And remember: after (if) you finish entering your submission into the comment field, 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. Sound
  2. Solitude
  3. Plain
  4. Afraid
  5. Face
  6. Step
  7. Matter
  8. Hollow
  9. Wave
  10. Reflection

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:
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


31 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #258”

  1. Liss Thomas says:

    Sound distorts under water.  Images bounce, double and magnify.  The surface is in plain sight but I cannot reach it.  Afraid to face the inevitable I flounder and step along the wreckage but I cannot break free, untangle myself.  My eyes search, wild and frantic for more air, a discarded tank.  A wave of hysteria and I feel the hollow growing in my chest where oxygen once resided.  But there, a glint from the side, a tank just out of reach.  I struggle, using precious few gulps of air to reach what matters most.  My hands touch the slick surface and realize in my dying solitude, it is only a reflection.

  2. Was out on vacation all last week, so I return with this new poem:

    Afraid to face your reflection
    take that last step to solitude
    your beating heart starts quickening
    a hollow sound, plain; beckoning
    no matter how long you delay; it waits
    wave of regret will always be there
    you must face your mirror 

  3. Jen says:

    Seems like there are different kinds of quiet. There’s the quiet that fell when Mama and Mrs. Williams, Mercy and me were all working away in the kitchen on some project; each of us content with our own solitude, unaware of the others as little more than vague figures in the same space.
    I cherished the silence that settled on my house after I’d got each of my babies off to sleep, after the storm of their hungry tears, their mewling cries for dry bottoms, when their tiny ribs rose and fell with the deep breaths of sleep. The silent sound of a sleeping baby is the kind that lets mamas find their own comfort. 
    Plain quiet has its own flat texture; like a soft, clean cotton sheet or the smooth surface of a freshly washed cheek. Utilitarian and pleasant.
    Monday bled into Tuesday, as we each kicked at our covers, restless and clueless to the immediate future. The day had a kind of hollow silence; every noise plucked at our taut shoulders, even as we pretended, for the boys’ sake, that Mama and I had stayed home just for kicks, to enjoy a summer day with them because we felt like it. 
    In fact, Daddy would have mandated it if Mrs. Williams hadn’t. She was afraid of what would happen to us if our faces showed up on her street, on her front step today. Can’t say I blame her, knowing that the fiercest wave was rolling in and would, in just a few hours, slam into Tulsa. 
    By nightfall, when the evening paper had been distributed with its shocking headline, “Lynching Negro Tonight” the silence had become a hollow block wedged in my throat. Daddy, who had been out all day doing who knows what, called in again around 8 that night. The sky brimmed at the edge of dusk, cicadas sang without ceasing. Any other town it could have been the perfect summer night. 
    I answered the phone. “What’s the matter, Daddy?” His voice cracked when I picked up. 
    “Put your mama on the phone.” 
    After she hung up, she was brisk as a business suit. “Pack a bag for each child, Grace. Get coats and hats for the boys. I know it’s summer!” She said, cutting me off before I could object. “Just do it.” 
    I passed the hallway mirror, caught sight of my reflection and paused for the shortest moment. I looked old, like Mama. I had moons of swollen skin under my eyes, my lips looked as dry as a stone. I shook my head and ran to pack the bags. Seemed like Mama and Daddy knew this was coming. 

  4. Pawn
    It looks forsaken, this checkered plain. I see only the black faces of my two closest brothers, Declan and Farragut. Each in the solitude of his assigned post, gearing up for a never-ending struggle for control. We three are the vanguard – the first to sound the battle cry in the coming war. No matter how afraid I am, I take comfort in the knowledge that we have trained for this.

    The wait is intolerable. We band of brothers, as we prepare to step forward to meet the enemy, have no time for wistful reflection. No wives or girlfriends await our return – we are to the battlefield born. We commit our spirits to the opening skirmish, the better to serve our lords and saviors. Yet, I wax introspective, after all, wondering at the weaknesses of our so-called betters. Were it not for the willing thrusts we make into no-man’s land, naught but the knights could ride into battle. Only we have the power to prevent a wave of white madness from breaching our borders. For to land in our vicinity almost always ends in death.

    We have been promised a reward for reaching the farthest boundaries of our adversaries. None of us believes that hollow myth but it sustains us nevertheless – to transcend from our lowly statures to the second most powerful representative of the kingdom. Cocoons morphing into Monarchs.

    Imagine that.

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    I love this free-flow style:
    The sound of pre-battle solitude whispers into the plain. Faces afraid step forward, hollow matter who don’t matter to the master-planners, a shapeless wave within a muddled reflection of an order to win at all costs.

  6. K says:

    Sorry, I forgot to bold the ten words… I did make sure I used ten of them, though.

    There is no sound only a reigning silence, exempting the lead scratching against paper. I am caught up in my own solitude, rendering the pages before me with nearly illegible scrawls. An airy sigh escapes my lips, and I run my hand through my hair. Why did it seem mediocre at best? Why was the prose so plain? I debate between continuing to strengthen the story or scrapping it and start anew. Since I was afraid that I would be unable to expand the characterization beyond trite stereotypes and unable to develop a plot with continuity, I turn to a blank page. I face it but am overwhelmed with beginning again. At this time, the lead of my pencil is compressed on the first line of the page, but it remains stationary. Swirling remnants of what could’ve been a decent idea storm in my mind. Though I visualize and analyze every piece of information, I can not find the correct words to express it. I step into my own realm on fantasies yet I, as an artist, can not describe what I am delving into though I know fully well what I am experiencing. At this point, I can clearly discern others’ reproachful remarks.
    “See?” they would begin their condescension. “You should’ve chosen something more practical, lucrative. Why does writing matter so much to you? What use is words? A few words scribbled down on a page doesn’t make you a writer. It doesn’t provide you a home, only solace.” A part of me believes that revelation despite the vehement conviction expressed in it. What really got to me was that final part. The veracity of the practicality of my profession was undeniable.  I am barely able to make provisions for myself, but I do enjoy writing to the greatest degree. Although I detest being cynical, I need to review my life’s choices and see where it’s gotten me. I may seek out confiding my emotions on paper, but do those words essentially make me an author? I had yet to get one of my works published let alone hold the title of an author. So yes, why did it matter to me? Where was my compiled files of mediocrity leading me? Certainly not to greater things especially considering I face my enemy constantly: writer’s block. I feel hollow as if I am merely a husk of a human body. The pencil is held loftily between my fingers, awaiting to be used on the page of the notebook. A wave of realization hits me as I scrawl down the first sentence I am fully satiated with structure wise. I ravage the page now filled with my spidery handwriting. 
    Upon my reflection, the reason I write for my vocation is not merely because it opened a gateway to escape reality but to inspire others. Whoever said that words may not break bones has obviously never gotten hit with a dictionary, but also with words, they contain ineffable emotions, if used properly. They provide comfort, entertainment, tragedy, but most importantly, lessons. I want to write because not only do I feel a surge of happiness and accomplishment for my work, but I want others to enjoy it and realize that they don’t have to conform to practical practices to be happy. Just look where I am now. But I wouldn’t wish for anything more. I may not be what others mean when they say an artist draws, but I am a writer, a form of an artist manipulating words to tell my tale. Even if writer’s block sometimes visits me and has something to say.

  7. D.R. says:

    Another piece of my writing puzzle.
    The silence was deafening. Who knew the sound of nothing could be so loud?
    And then, it was broken.

    I’m afraid I cannot let any of you leave until we get to the bottom of this. This, he emphasized the importance of the word, is a very important matter.

    He took a step towards me. My palms began to sweat; my mouth became dry. He leaned in, close to my face. I could feel his breath.
    Now what were you doing in the house? Surely you are aware it’s a crime scene. And you were caught trespassing. If you don’t start giving me some answers you’re going to be in trouble; it’s that plain and simple. I need to know why you were there…

    He stared down at us while we remained silent and still, as if frozen. We exchanged silent glances.

    Should I talk, I nervously thought to myself. A wave of anxiety rushed over me. How much trouble could we get in? We didn’t damage anything. I tried to turn out the crowded room, and run into a place of solitude.

    But he was now so close into my personal space, I could see my worried expression in the reflection of his eyes.

    This bearded man gave me a stern, hollow look as he repeated his question, once again.

    Before I could muster the courage to even mumble a word, another voice spoke up, both nervous and hurried.

    We heard that the old man wasn’t dead because of his age…. he was murdered!

    The silence returned.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Dee: That was great. For some reason this reminded me of a movie I loved some time back. I can’t remember the name, but the kid in the movie loved playing chess and he ends up outsmarting the drug dealers and turning them against each other. Do you remember this movie?

  8. Rebecca says:

    The sound of silence and solitude can set you free.
    To have reflection time can bring a wave of peace upon you.
    Don’t be afraidstep up and face your fears and issues.
    Get out of that hollow place you’ve put yourself in for too long no matter what.
    How to get out is as plain as the nose on your face.

  9. Jamie says:

    Hello, My name is Jamie, I am 12 years old, and I have just recently started writing 10 word short stories. This one was written on the 2/08/12.
    The Big One
    As my feet sink into the soft sand, I hear the soothing sound of the foamy white wash soaring across the gently sloping sand bank. Behind the plain, solitude state of the sand and sea, the inner beauty of the beach shines through, like the sun shining through broken clouds.
    Many are afraid of the ocean, to face something bigger and so much stronger than them is too overwhelming. I take a step into the cold, liquid matter that stretches as far as the eye can see, and paddle out to catch the Big One. Suddenly, a hollow log is heading straight for me, blocking my path, but I fortunately pass it.
    The one I need, I know is out there, and all of a sudden the wave, the Big One, appears. I feel the current beneath my board, as the wave pulls me back, and now, almost instantly, I am riding my wave. As I face the waves face, I know this is the place, this is the time, where I see my true reflection.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jamie: Hello there. Welcome to our fun corner of the world. That was a great 1st submission. Made me want to get off my chair and find water.
      What did you think of the challenge? I’d love to get a perspective from someone your age. Everyone welcome Jamie to the end of writer’s block.

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