Two weeks ago Sarah Higbee nominated me in the Freestyle Writing Challenge and even though it took me a while to get around to it, I can’t deny it was a great fun, and a real challenge.
The RULES of the challenge are simple:
1. Open an MS Word document
2. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.
3. You topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
4. Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. Once you begin writing do not stop.
5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)
6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However if you do, it would be best.
7. At the end of your post, write down ‘No. Of words =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time-frame.
8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new Topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).
Since I write in a second language, I set my timer to 10 minutes, and on top of that I somewhat cheated by extra 15 seconds to finish the sentence that I felt would wrap up the “story” nicely.
So, my final count is 261 words, and my topic was “Stars”. And below, the result of the challenge, as per rules, entirely unedited and messy. (Yes, I resisted fixing that “Spacy” in there…)
Sign up with the Space Navy, they said. You’ll see the stars, they said.
Filan cringed whenever he remembered the flashing recruitment adds. The videos appealed more to the adventurous nature of many bored planet-side citizens than to their patriotism, and both muscular men and beautiful women in the perfect-fitting uniform skimmed through the information that the Spacy Navy was at war. Of course, the news covered all the atrocities of the distant battles, but media had always blown things out of proportion, hadn’t they?
And now, Filan, lured by his own sense of adventure and carefully engineered marketing efforts, stood at the platform in full gear, getting ready for the mission. Beside him, in neat rows, stood other naïve men and women, now nothing more than numbers on the uniform and cannon fodder the Space Navy was throwing at the enemy.
Throughout his training on the moon base, and later, during ship’s the flight, or rather its bouncing from one wormhole to another, Filan didn’t get a chance to see the stars up close, like the adds had promised. But now, in inter-space battle, he had to get a chance.
The alarm rang and the red light drowned everything. The gate opened and before the soldier had a chance to mentally prepared, the ignition engines on their packs propelled them into nothingness of space… right at the enemy’s peppered spaceship.
Filan’s eyes widened when his armor banged against the destroyed hull and before the enemy’s proximity defense’s laser reduced him to hot ash, he thought he finally saw the stars.
I have to admit, it was tougher than I thought, but I also could feel the experience of having written multiple drabbles which helped me to make this excerpt into somewhat of a complete story.
And when you’re ready to start your challenge, click to find out what your topic is. Good luck!
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.