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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Writing Exercise: Short Story

This week's writing exercise is a short story idea which I believe will be fun and challenging. I hope you enjoy it!

Read and do each step before going on to the next one:

Step One:

Decide if your main character will be male or female.


Step two:

Write down four numbers between one and five.  

(You can repeat numbers – for instance, I had my daughter choose the numbers for me, and she chose 4, 1, 2, 4.)

(Don't scroll down until you have your four numbers.)

Step Three:

The numbers you wrote will correspond to the four lists, below. (Your first number corresponds to list one, your second number to list two, and so on.)

The first list tells who your main character is.

1. a new parent
2. a fire-fighter
3. an alien from outer space
4. a homeless child
5. a 94-year-old

The second list tells where the story takes place:

1. a National Forest
2. an expensive restaurant
3. a shopping mall
4. the porch of an old farmhouse
5. on a bus

The third list tells when the story takes place.

1. during a fire
2. a hundred years ago
3. late at night
4. during a big thunderstorm
5. in early Summer

The fourth list tells what is on the main character's mind:

1. has lost something important
2. has an important decision to make
3. has just heard a secret
4. has been accused of something
5. something embarrassing has just happened

My choices were female and 4, 1, 2, 4, so my story is going to be about a homeless girl in a National Forest a hundred years ago, and she has been accused of something.

Submit your story in the comment box. (If it’s too long, you may have to submit it in two or more parts.)

I will post the submissions, along with my own, on Wednesday. I’m extending an extra day because it people sometimes need more time and I don’t want you to feel rushed.

I look forward to reading the entries... have fun!


  1. Thank you, Gail! Got it and will post it on Wed.

    great work!

  2. Hi Shen! I see you'd not yet posted this week's submissions, so have taken a chance and done one quick-quick, just for fun :) I see you'd only received one other (Gail's) and felt you might value a second entry :)

  3. Throughout the meal Mildred, certainly not Millie was over hearing the lovers in the booth behind her. They were not loud Mildred was concentrating. The waiter respectively suggested it was time to leave. Perhaps not as respectful had the tips not been distributed, a good attempt for that time of night never the less.
    Mildred could stand it no more and Fred definitely not Fredric groaned when she stood in her I won’t stand for it posture. She said “I have been listening to you all night, that sort of talk has no place in a restaurant if it has any place at all and you missy leaving that baby of 8 months with a sitter, that is what is wrong with the world today.
    The man reaches into his pocket and flips a coin. The woman calls heads the man says tails and turns to Mildred and says, “Don’t worry about it the baby is home with his father.”
    Arm in arm the husband and father of the baby asks his wife “If tails? His wife answered “I was going with I could not agree with you more if we only knew what in the world was wrong when you were born.” and smiles “Thank you for a lovely evening.” Grinning her husband says “I was hoping the evening was still yet young" to which his wife replied in her best I won’t stand for it posture. “That is what is wrong with the world today.”

    I went with 1234. Michael

  4. Wonderful, Michael. Thank you for adding your story. I love a story with a punch line ;-)

    The others can be seen in a post I put up on Thursday, entitled "Writing submissiions".


Please feel free to leave your thoughts in a comment.

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