Posted by: Mary | February 19, 2015

Just five words

Can five words change your writing practice? I think they can. Several people in our group have brought up the five word writing challenges before. I think the group members heard about this on NPR. I’m not a regular NPR listener, so I am glad that it came up in the meetings. Thanks to my fellow writers, I have started several stories based on these writing prompts.

For those of you who are not familiar, the five word writing challenge gives you a list of random words which you much use to create a story. The challenge may also include a minimum or maximum word count. I find guidelines to be helpful in my writing, whether it is a poem (villanelle, anyone?) or fiction. I see the rules as a structure to build around, rather than something that limits my creativity.

I found a blog that hosted a five word writing challenge. While the contest is not currently active, I found people’s posts very interesting. And of course, I was fascinated by the list of random words: figure, dust, flirt, mobile phone, wig. I can feel my synapses firing already, building a story around those words. Even better, the blogger including the random word generator where he gathered those words. I’ve had great fun compiling lists of future story starters.

So far I have:

whistle, bicycle, bus station, conductor, crown

nuts, shelf, cereal, scarf, nib

perch, courage, shoes, chess, supplies

Then I had to stop hitting the reload button because my brain was about to explode with the possibilities!

My question is. . . will you take the challenge? Will you use one of these groups of words as a catalyst for your creativity? Feel free to post your efforts in the comments section. Or you can submit your story to our group’s other blog, Among the Waters.



  1. I thought we had used the 5 word system several years ago. Gave me a real boost. Sorry i don’t make the

    • I’m glad this helps your writing. I hope you are still working on it. You’re always welcome to come to a meeting whenever you can. We miss you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: