Friday Fictioneers – Duet

PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson

This was a technical exercise, a challenge to myself to write two different stories each using the same fifty words in a different order.


The man sobbed as he had forced the pony trap up the rolling road. A fear loomed, and gnawed for his heart. Eyes took in the castle, silhouette against the sunset, knew he had left it too late to save her from death, and a shadow of gates was all.


The castle heart was a man-trap.  The pony knew too, her eyes rolling in fear. Save for the late sunset, all as he had left it. The gates loomed up, took in and gnawed from his silhouette.  He sobbed and forced a road, had to, against the shadow of death.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

Fancy sharpening your skill with writing exercises? The Scrivener’s Forge offers a new exercise every month to hone one aspect of your craft. Take a look at this month’s exercise on character and action


78 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Duet

  1. Nice contrast. The word order created totally different vibes.
    I always post two stories for FF myself. The first one I usually toil over, but the second is generally a first draft that I try to write as quickly as I can. Rochelle caught on when she noticed the IP address was the same for both entries and discovered my alias. The other account never comments on anything. A few folks here have figured it out. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Neil nearly comments on everyone’s stories. Something I stopped doing a year or so ago. I get irritated at those who never comment on anything, too. 😉


      2. He comments on my stories and I always comment back, and visa versa. I’ve not commented on one of yours Claire, but then you’ve never commented on one of mine 😉 Time is limited and so, with the best will in the world, we can’t read everybody’s stories every week without neglecting our other blog followers. This week, I will read and comment on yours…


  2. wow! That was a fun challenge to read. I think of the two, #2 packs more of an emotional whallop. #1, more of a mystery reminiscent of a Dracula story. Loved them both! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an interesting challenge! I might try that next week. I really liked both stories, but especially the second. (I’m not sure the first ‘had’ works unless you also have another ‘had’ before ‘sobbed’.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It must take a lot of forethought to choose words that would work okay in both stories? I’d equate this skill with that of the people who draw up crossword puzzles and get everything to fit together. A challenge well worth trying. Thanks for the info about Scrivener’s Forge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The words initially came at random. I started with pony trap and man trap because it amused me. I build the rest up in layers. Hope to see you over at the Forge


  5. I’ve done this sort of thing with children with poetry. I cut up the poem into individual words and then they tried to create lines or even a whole poem of their own. I think it is supposed to help focus on the elements of the actual poem when it’s revealed. And it’s fun!
    Really interesting and creative exercise. I love the opening sentence of story two! I might try 50 words of existing prose chosen at random. (Now wonder if that is then plagiarism?)
    Once gave my husband a DIY sonnet for his birthday. He had the fourteen lines each on a strip of curled paper to order in any way he liked. (So it didn’t really have a proper rhyming pattern.)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice idea Neil, makes me want to try it myself. Is there a way of selecting the first 50 words to make it easier to change them round for a totally different take, or do you write the first story and hope you’re not setting a trap for yourself?


  7. Such a showman, I like your… stirring use of multiple viewpoints on the same story. It’s always good writing from another viewpoints. I hear Kashuo Ishiguro does it all the time. Very poignant in his short story anthology Nocturnes as well as his novels. I just loved the Buried Giant. Okay, plug over.

    Liked by 1 person

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