Vocabulary Juxtaposition (Writing Challenge)

Vocabulary Juxtaposition (Writing Challenge)

Okay, friends. I’m not really here – I’m deep in a pit of revision and self-loathing, where I’ll be until Friday, but I couldn’t bear to neglect you until then.

Now, I’m a big fan of Chuck Wendig’s blog. He runs flash fiction contests regularly, and while I almost never participate, I like the idea. This may go terribly wrong, as I have very few followers and therefore the likelihood of receiving any responses is tiny, but let’s give it a shot.

Let’s write something, shall we?

I’ve talked before about my love of the website Memrise as a way of learning vocab and I attribute any success in my French exam to the many hours I’ve spent racking up points learning words I’ll probably never need. But Memrise also serves as a great writing prompt, a side effect its developers probably never considered.

You see, Memrise has a multiple choice option, which figures more prominently in the mobile app than the desktop site – I use the app to spare my hands the pain of typing – and occasionally, the juxtaposition of words creates some entertaining mental images.

So, here’s a collection of words.


And here is your challenge:

Write me something that incorporates these ideas. You don’t have to use the exact words, but you get bonus points if you do.

– It doesn’t have to be prose, though I imagine that’d be easier: poets, feel free to give it a shot.
– It can be anything up to 1000 words, but shorter is fine.
– You don’t have to include all the ideas but it’s more fun if you do.
– Post it on your blog, Tumblr, other writing site etc and link it in the comments, or post it directly in the comments. (Not recommended for longer pieces.)

There’s no actual prize, because it’s a prompt rather than a competition. But I will happily give shout outs to the writers of the best ones, since I will be delighted if you participate.

You have until the end of Saturday 21st June, and I’ll read them on Sunday. I look forward to it – I’m sure they’ll be highly entertaining. I’m tempted to participate myself, but the scene those words suggests to me involves massive spoilers for one of my current WIPs, so maybe not. I’m partial to humour or angst – totally opposite ends of the scale, I know, but I genuinely can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Meanwhile, I’ve screencapped various other combinations of vocab, so if this proves to be a success, I’ll run another of these fairly soon. Go forth and make it awesome, readers!

And, because I’m paranoid that nobody’s going to take part, maybe share the post with any writer buddies you think will do a good job of interpreting that prompt? I’d love to see a whole handful of different ideas.

See you on the other side of my exams. :)

11 thoughts on “Vocabulary Juxtaposition (Writing Challenge)

  1. I will take you up on that as well. I am studying for the bar exam, and believe me, I’d much rather be writing stories about ironmongery. Which is just a fun word to say.

  2. Oh wow, this is a really cool idea. I abandoned my personal blog last year so I don’t have a place to post it, but if you do another one I may just try one in a Word doc. Haha. :)

    1. No worries. As I said in my latest post, it’s not a competition so deadlines don’t mean much. It was just a challenge to get people’s brains working and to see what you can come up with.

      I’m happy to read anything anyone gives me to read, whether posted on a blog, Tumblr, in a note on Facebook, on a stone tablet in a cave somewhere, too. :)

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