A challenge to readers and writers

So, I decided to do an experiment from my College days. I gave myself a 5 minute break, and said ‘write’ The last time I did this was in Fiction Class in 2003, and were were given 5 minutes to ‘tell a story’ I wasn’t sure that, being out of practice, I could accomplish a 5 minute story. So my goal was just to write, and not think about where it was going. To just take a specific moment, and make it seem real to a reader. Here is what I came up with:

When I stepped out of my front door I began to shake, there was a cool breeze, and I wished I had my scarf. It wouldn’t have gone with my outfit, and so I had left it behind. As I opened my car window I tried to remember what song my cd player would resume. I normally tried to leave clever lyrics for my morning drives, but I had not anticipated a late night drive. As the tune “good morning” from Singin’ in the Rain began to play, I laughed. I was certainly tending to stay up late like the characters in the show, but not for the same reasons. He had beckoned, and I was incapable of saying no. I turned the radio off, and drove in silence. The streets were abandoned, and so all I could think was ‘this time it will be different.’ But I knew it never would. He would answer, gorgeous, and I would enter, nervous. I would question whether I was lucky to have this part of him, or if I was stupid to settle for table scraps of a meal I could never afford.


For writers: Do the same thing. If you can in fact ‘tell a story’ in 5 minutes, even a short one. That would be awesome. It is possible, I managed it in 2003. However, if you can just write, I would just want a focus on character and moment.

For readers: Just some questions:

  1. Is my story interesting?
  2. Do you hear my narrator?
  3. Are you curious about more?
  4. Are you bored?
  5. Do you feel like your in the car?
  6. Do you feel like your watching the car?
  7. What do you see?
  8. Who do you see?


  1. October 3, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    […] useful practice for thinking and writing, but maybe haiku isn’t your thing.  If not, try the 5 minute challenge.  Just sit down, set a timer, and go.  Don’t plan ahead.  Don’t second-guess.  Just […]

  2. A R said,

    October 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    man, i need to do that. set aside a time to write daily. i need a writer bud to encourage me! 🙂

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