Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #262

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. Electric
  2. Dash
  3. Force
  4. Primary
  5. Fight
  6. Blame
  7. Sick
  8. Shiver
  9. Deep
  10. Blur

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


52 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #262”

  1. K says:

    Ha ha, a shorter one! It’s a small, unedited snippet of one of my stories I’m trying to work on despite writer’s block. Please tell me if I should rethink the plot or if it should stick.

    Shivers traveled down the length of her spine as the men behind her forced her forward. Fighting against the urge to let her wandering gaze look back, she mulled over the former’s warning. Bunnies are puffy. Translated, it meant something dangerous approached. The trepidation prior to arriving now measured fathoms deep. The men halted a few feet away from a barred doorway while her strides carried her to the entrance. The bars creaked and groaned as they parted to the side like curtains. A wave of disorientation blurred her vision for a moment when she walked through. The exit sealed once again, the bars clanging with a sense of finality. Electric cheers reverberating from the stands pounded in her eardrums, sobering her from bewilderment. Those shouts dashed her hopes. As long as the events appeased the masses, escaping this lifestyle was futile. Stepping into the ring was merely the primary of the following events. Never letting her guard down, she nocked an arrow and readied herself to fire at any mobile target. A row of flames propelled itself from twenty feet away right before her eyes. She barreled to the right, and the fire engulfed the barricade. Once the smoke and flames subsided, the creature who conjured them roared, displaying its massive pink maw. The spectacle of the monster sickened her, nausea churning in the pit of her stomach. She reminded herself that she had no one to blame for her presence in the battlefield. Taking a deep breath, she took aim at the animal’s leg and released the arrow from the bowstring. She witnessed as the arrow whizzed through the air, come in contact with the creature, and deflected off its hide.

    Welcome to the circus.

  2. George Edward Lansing could not suppress the shiver that rose from deep within his soul. An electric force driven by shame, the dread feeling caused his finger to hover interminably over the “Enter” key. With one stab of that button, he could send shock waves through the staid aristocracy of the blue-blooded Northeast corridor. As his eyes filled with tears, Lansing bid sorrowful good-bye to youthful idealism. He blinked through the prismatic blur and, with a final, sick shudder, pushed down the key.


    “Don’t blame me if your research paper is going to be overdue.” Sarah Buffington smiled at George Lansing. She pulled the covers up around her neck before reaching for the croissant on her tray.

    “Well, I do. It was you who suggested we dash off for a wild weekend. Christ, but you’re beautiful in the morning – even if you haven’t brush your teeth.” George leaned over and kissed the top of her head.

    “Ummmm. You’re not so bad, yourself. Aren’t you having any?” Sarah proffered a strawberry.

    George paused, one shoe lace still undone. “No, sorry. I have to get back. As it is, I’ll be fighting traffic all the way. I’ll be glad when the Primary is over.”

    Sarah pouted. “Well, I’m going to stay one more day. I scheduled a spa appointment. Terry’s coming with me. We’ll do lunch, as well. So, if you can manage to make it back…”

    George laughed. “You’re insatiable. Really, though, this is one of the last few classes. I have to pass or Daddy will have a fit.” He said the last with a snort of derision.

    “I wouldn’t worry about that, darling. I’m friends with the dean’s daughter.”

    “Well, I certainly don’t want any favors from her! I’ll be fine. I just have to knock this paper out of the park, show that curmudgeon that I deserve at least a C.” George grabbed his Lacoste sweater, leaned in for a quick kiss with pursed lips and marched out of the suite.

    • K says:

      It seemed so dramatic when George finished his paper. Was it because it went against what he believed in? It was nice reading something light hearted after brooding over something dark.

    • Liss Thomas says:

      Suspenseful and romantic . . . *sigh*.  Well played!

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: That opening is out of site! Textbook storytelling right there. What word made you think of this tale. Again, super job.

    • @K, This gets darker. That’s all I can say, right now.
      @Liss, that’s what I was going for. Yay! thank you!
      @Shane, I’m actually developing what I hope is a “Grand Concept”. LOL The idea came during my walk. The words cooperated.

  3. Shane Arthur says:

    It was electric.

    I dashed from the house party after the gunshot; gravity and clumsy feet forcing my body into an embarassing face-plant on the asphalt as I did.

    Survival was the primary concern, so I marvel at how the thought of the people outside seeing me fall, unaware of the fight and shooting inside, forced out a smile and me blaming my fuckin’ shoes instead of remembering my brother was still inside.

    That sick feeling of potential dread shivered my body during the run back.

    The whole house was deep with cursing, screaming, and confusion.

    Memories of the event blur.

    But I won’t forget seeing my brother on the ground holding a bloody rag, not around his body, but around the screaming girl’s leg where the bullet entered then exited.
    And I won’t forget me smiling in relief at that either.

    • K says:

      Whoa, psychotic! Well written though the main character scared me. Do you have any tips on using the forms of be? I notice I use them often.

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @K: Could you be more specific? What do you mean by “forms of be”?

        • K says:

          What I mean is writing are, was, were, am, etc. I know you shouldn’t use them too much, but sometimes, the story doesn’t flow well without them. When are times you should use them?

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @K: Sorry for being dense, but I’m still uncertain. Could you point me to some page where they are saying what you are saying? I went back and looked at your story. I didn’t see much of anything I could have done to improve your piece, so I would not worry about whatever it is you mentioned. 🙂

          • K says:

            These days, I try to avoid them. I have examples picked out from an earlier one. “In other words, our society was a democracy, a republic in which citizens’ fates resided in their own hands. The efforts we thought we’ve upheld were lenient suggestions rather than practiced laws. Society is still corrupt, if not more, as any other in history.”

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @K: Nothing wrong with those sentences. Remember this:
            Language follows rules; it doesn’t follow orders.

            You show me a page online where they say this and I’ll see if I can’t poke some holes in it. 🙂

          • K says:

            Ok, thanks. I’m letting doubt restrict me from writing again.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @K: Turn off your inner editor and write. Don’t stop to think. Once you finish, then you can go back and polish, but again, nothing wrong with those sentences you wrote.

          • Liss Thomas says:

            K, I do it all the time in my writing.  He ‘was’ running, they ‘were’ fighting.  I write that way in first draft but then when I go back through, I try to use stronger verbs or at least clear away the verbs to be.

            He ran, fled, or hurried.  They fought, grappled, or scrapped.  Nothing wrong with them, like Shane said but it adds activeness to the sentence.

            In other words, our society was a democracy, a republic in which citizens’ fates resided in their own hands.  

            Our society, as a democracy, demonstrates a republic in which citizens’ fates reside in their own hands.

            Nothing wrong with either sentence but when writing fiction or action, it becomes less passive when you avoid the verb to be.

          • K says:

            Thanks, Liss. Another reason for me to stop thinking while writing the first draft.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Liss: Well said. Indeed, you can’t see “was” in your head when you say “was running”, but you can see “ran”.
            As long as the replacement doesn’t sound stilted, you’re on your way. “Our society existed as a democracy; our society lives as a democracy; our society, once a democracy,” etc, etc. This demonstrates why language is so cool. We could spend hours on the endless possibilities in our pursuit of perfection. Love it.
            P.S. Thanks for covering my senior moment. 😉

    • I like how you show man’s priorities and self-centeredness. Running from the house was the first and, probably correct, instinct. Smiling in spite of the fact that a fellow human lay wounded…well, it ain’t my brother so, who cares, right? LOL

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitch: I need to polish what I wrote I believe. I was going for how the oddest of thoughts can enter a man’s mind during various times of grief, panic, etc. Like being in a funeral and noticing a pretty woman, or in the case of my story, running for your life and worrying about what people thought of you because you had an embarassing fall, or you being so glad to see your brother alive, you smile at the same time you feel terrible for a girl screaming and bleeding on the floor.

        • Perhaps it is I who should polish my glasses. LOL
          I completely glossed over “…So I marvel…” which should have put the proper frame to my mind.

          • Shane Arthur says:

            @Mitch: Haha! No, you’re okay. I added that part after K’s comments let me know I needed to clarify. 🙂

    • Liss Thomas says:

      I love the part where he blames his shoes!  So true at times.  Very real.

  4. Liss Thomas says:

    Continuation from #260
    Allie’s mind found it’s way up from a deep sleep, her struggling thoughts trying to remember where she was.  Her eyes flashed open.  She was alone in the small wooden structure, a warming fire burned in the hearth.  She shivered anyway, more from the sick dread of what lay beyond the door.  A charred stick lay near the fire and she pulled it closer, not that it would do much good in a fight.

    The door swung open letting in a small flurry of snow.  A blur of green dashed in and headed for the fire, followed by the rider, dressed in a dark cloak, his hood pulled low to hide his face.  Allie jumped to her feet, stick in hand.  Pain shot through her limbs like an electric current forcing her back to the floor in a heap.
    “You are not healed, human.”
    Allie shifted and repositioned herself on the soft mound of furs and hay.  She watched him settle down, observing her from under his hood.  Her primary concern for her safety mollified for now, he looked odd and misshapen but not threatening, though who would blame her for thinking it.  The other creature, a dog sized lizard of sorts snoozed by the fire, ignoring her completely.
    “What are you?” she asked.
    “I am a troll.  You should not have come here.”
    “Can you take me home?” she asked.

  5. Shane Arthur says:

    @Liss: I LOVE how you ended this so abruptly. I was taken aback, but I love when that happens. Something so small and subtle, but cool!

  6. Was busy at the ER with my wife all day yesterday, here is my late entry.

    Another Day in High School
    The air was electric
    some primal primary force
    sending a shiver deep inside
    dash of this sick bully a blur
    who was to blame for this fight
    just another day in high school 

    • K says:

      Nice, Justin. This poem was a bit sad for me to take in because school’s starting back up pretty soon, and the way you describe high school sounds frightening. Yep, I’m really young.

      • Going to school in NY in the late 80’s and very early 90’s I was unfortunately one of those geeks that got bullied, I cut school 120+ days per year to avoid confrontations, and escalations never worked.  Even the fights I won, the loser came out with brass knuckles, pen knives or friends to make the odds 5:1 with little chance of survival.

        20 years later, I remember the bullying incidents as some of the worst days of my life, and can only imagine how much worse it is now for some where it gets taken to social media, online and torments continue into the home.  The epidemic needs to stop.

        • K says:

          I haven’t been bullied but teased a lot so far in school since I don’t speak much. Whoa, can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been back then. I agree. Presently, bullying can happen anywhere. It’s sad really. What has happened to humanity?

          • All it takes is watching the news to see just how little society has come after thousand of years of civilization.  An intelligent race such as human beings killing each other, having racism, bigotry.  It’s unspeakable and our species should be more capable and above all of this.  

            I wonder if we shall ever see a day where there is only peace and unified humanity, I predict it will only happen when humans confirm and confront another alien race.  Only when we can be united in our species knowing there are others, maybe we will have full toleration of each other. 

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin G: Love how you held back the result of the bullying and let us fill in the possibilities. Write on!

    • Liss Thomas says:

      Great poem, I won’t discuss when I was in high school.  Suffice to say, I’m glad it’s over!

  7. Akira says:

    You know that feeling you get right after the jock trips the nerdy kid and the nerdy kid spills their red coolaide all over the popular girl’s white dress? That moment of silence right before all hell breaks loose. That split second where the popular girl glares at the nerd kid with ice witch eyes that are screaming that she wants nothing more than to just rip the nerd kid’s braces out with a pair of rusty pliers. That tiny glimmer of time where the air feels electric. All the blame goes on the nerd kid, of course, and no one seems to notice the snickering jock but me.
    The odd-one-out.The black sheep. The loner. The freak. The weirdo. That lightning charged moment that seems to last forever is really only a second, and then the fight breaks out. In a blur of cat-like nails, brittle bleached hair and irreversibly stained dress, the popular girl is on the nerd kid like ugly on an ape, shreiking like a banshee and  shaking the poor recluse like a maracca. Then the nerd kid’s face hits the tiles with unbeleivable force. Blood gushes from her nose, and the popular girl gets yanked off by her jock boyfriend. My primary feeling is wanting to go be sick.
    The scene sends a shiver down my spine, and something wrenches deep in my stomach. I dash to the nurse’s office, and she helps the nerd kid out. But I never see her at school again.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Akira: Welcome to the CCC! That was fantastic. Loved the pace and cadence of the piece, and the ending was perfect. What did you think of the challenge? Let us know.
      Everyone welcome Akira to the end of writer’s block.

      • Akira says:

        I liked it! I’ll definately be doing more. Probably the previous ones until a new on is posted. Is it a daily thing?

      • Cathy Miller says:

        *sigh* late agatn ~

        @Akira-Welcome to CCC!

        Ours is an electric place with a dash of hope and a twist of fun that sets CCC as a force to behold. Words are our primary tool, but it’s what we do with them that helps fight mediocrity.

        It’s an addiction for sure, so we will not blame you if you are quickly hooked into the weekly challenges. So, when you are sick with worry or shiver in despair, skip whatever brings you down and dig deep into your soul for release. Soon, all else is but a blur.


  8. Akira says:

    Okay! Thanks! Is it okay to go back and do previous ones, too?

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Akira: Absolutely, although some people may not subscribe to comments on all challenges, so you won’t get as many reads or comments on your work.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Do you feel the primary force beating in your life?
    Does it send a shiver down your spine?
    Deep down you know that no one outside of you is to blame.
    If you don’t stop and take stock of your life, it will seem like a blur.
    If you’re sick and tired of being sick tired, fight back.
    Add a dash of joy to your life today, and you’ll feel the electric vibration throughout your body.

  10. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane… I just sent you a large order of JOY. Smile! 🙂

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