A daft writing challenge

I ran a writers’ workshop on Sunday (still cream-crackered from it!). One of the challenges was to randomly draw the names of two people or things, then write a scene featuring them. I decided to play along. Won’t say who I drew until the end.

“Brigadier Sir Nils Olaf, ma’am. Don’t forget you’re meeting him tomorrow at twelve noon.”

Nicola smiled. Brigadier. Would her best suit or the second best be suitable for meeting him? High heels or pumps? Would he expect her to wear her pearls or would the poppy necklace be more appropriate?

“I’m to award him a medal?”

“Yes, First Minister. For services to the Norwegian navy and Scottish tourism.”

“I see.” To be frank, she didn’t see but that happened a lot in her job. Too many meetings, too little time for briefings. “Will there be lunch?”

“Aye. A reception for us. Alas, Sir Nils won’t be able to join us.”

“Oh.” That was a disappointment: Nicola liked a man in uniform. “He’ll be on another engagement?”

“Actually, he’s on a restricted diet. What you might call strict pescatarian.” The secretary grinned, clearly amused at some private joke.

“I’m sure you could rustle him up a tuna baguette.”

“I’m afraid that wouldn’t be suitable.”

“Why?” Nicola bridled. “Is he above eating with us? Who does he think he is? An emperor?”

“No, First Minister. But he is a king.”

I drew Nicola Sturgeon and a king penguin. 


8 thoughts on “A daft writing challenge”

  1. I love challenges like that! They send your brain running down rabbit holes (or into penguin burrows…) and are, in my experience, good for your writing in general. Loved your response!!

    1. Merci. I’ve used this particular exercise as a starter for the last three workshops I’ve done and it never fails to bring great results. A couple of years back someone wrote about Beyoncé teaching Miss Marple to twerk. And the chap who produced a wonderful alpha-male-off between Darcy and James Bond had Mary Berry and Nicola Adams this year, so an alpha-female-off!

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