Sunday, October 23, 2011

Third Platform Building Campaign Challenge

Rachael Harrie's latest challenge was to write a 300 word story to "show, not tell" in 300 words or less: 

  • that it’s morning, 
  • that a man or a woman (or both) is at the beach
  • that the MC (main character) is bored
  • that something stinks behind where he/she is sitting
  • that something surprising happens.
Just for fun, see if you can involve all five senses AND include these random words: "synbatec," "wastopaneer," and "tacise."   (NB. these words are completely made up and are not intended to have any meaning other than the one you give them).
So, here is my entry, at exactly 300 words, excluding the title. I've used two of the words, but cheated a little, turning "wastopaneer" into a name. Let me know what you think.
Lakeside Resort
I hate this crappy place. Little wooden dock, little dented boats that stink of gasoline and puff out black clouds. Little ripples on the rocks sound like a hundred cats lapping milk.
I hate all these little kids. And this crappy little beach. It’s not a real beach. This crappy resort just dumped sand on the edge of the water. And the sand is crap, too. It’s rough and won’t stick together to make a sand castle. Anyway, that stupid baby would just stumble over and wreck it.
Oh, no. It’s crying again. Why don’t its parents shut it up?
Its mom picks it up and smoothes its hair. “Tacise, Tacise,” she says, kissing it. What a stupid name!
“Why don’t you go in the water, honey?” Mom says. I try to look up, but the stupid sun is in my eyes. I look at the water, but the ripples reflect the sunlight into a million shards, assaulting my brain.
Ripples. Not white surf like in Sara’s vacation pictures. I slurp up the last of my stale coke. “Nah,” I answer.
“Why not? It’s a beautiful day!”
“It wouldn’t be fun.”
“Swimming isn’t fun?”
“Swimming in the ocean would be fun.”
“My, who’s a spoiled princess?” says Dad, sitting up. I thought he was asleep.
“Daddy, this place stinks!” He just gives me his mock pout. “Literally. People are slaughtering fish over there!”
Cold! I scream and turn around, dripping and splashing. The baby’s annoying big brother, maybe four years old, runs away with a pail, shrieking with laughter. “Wasto Paneer!” his father yells, running after him. “You come back here!”
Dad is laughing. “You might as well get in the lake now, princess.”
Stupid vacation.


  1. Haha great job!! I love how it's all from a kids point of view. Love it!

    I'm entry #5

  2. Anonymous1:14 PM

    I Like it. She is definitly having a no good, very bad day! Mine is #56

  3. I hope the character comes around and enjoys the vacation--though she certainly has character. Great entry!

    My entry.

  4. Gotta love disgruntled youth on vacay. You captured it so well, putting me right inside the head of that spoiled princess. Liked how you used the words. Great job!

  5. Lol! Yes, that does sound like a *princess* point of view! Great job! ; )

  6. That was quite intriguing. You had me guessing what was going to happen. Great job. And, I think it's ok that you used Wasto Paneer as a name.

  7. That was great, got my vote.

    (now following)
    Moody Writing
    no. 79

  8. I love your voice in this. I remember holidays like this from when I was an angry teenager. Great job.
    Mine is #25.

  9. Anonymous12:39 PM

    Just wanted to say, I like this piece a lot, great voice and detail!

  10. Awesome! I was laughing the whole way through. Such is the "mad at the world" character. Excellent work! :)

  11. Using the made up words as names was brilliant. This was tremendously fun to read. "Literally. People are slaughtering fish over there." That's my kinda princess.

  12. A very strong disgruntled teenage voice here. Great true to life story. Really enjoyed Miss Princess's annoyance.

  13. Haven't we all felt like this at some stage. I know I did growing up. Love your main character's voice. She's great.

  14. What a strong voice, Scott. You captured the character so well I felt like I was on the beach with her.

  15. Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm looking forward to the next challenge.

  16. I'm a judge in the third campaigners challenge and you have moved into the second phase of judging! Big congrats!!!

  17. Hey, Scott, really fun post. I grew up with two sisters, and I could either of their teen selves into the MC.

    I'm also happy to inform you that you've been chosen to move on to the second phase of judging.

    Congrats, and good luck!