I’ve listened to the Writing Excuses podcast for years. In the first nine seasons they would sometimes give writing prompts. In season ten they started giving homework at the end of each episode.
I’ve gone back to year ten and am going through the homework. Though the assignments are most annoying, they’re even more beneficial.
The assignment for 13.35 is to have a friend list three books or movies they really liked. Then list three of your own. Randomly select one from each list and make a mashup, as in title A meets title B. Then write that story.
I aimed for a micro-fiction piece (under 100 words), but it went longer. Still it nicely fits in the flash fiction category (under 1,000 words).
Here’s my story:
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Meets Taken
Ed Rooney drove his nondescript minivan down a suburban road. Ahead walked an attractive teenager. He pulled alongside her and lowered his window. “Sloane, would you like a ride?”
“Principal Rooney, why aren’t you in school?”
“I should be asking you the same thing.” He got out of his car and walked around. “Let’s talk about your truancy.”
Sloane stared at him but said nothing.
“You’re a very attractive young lady.” He extended a hand toward the teenager.
“Mr. Rooney, you’re making me uncomfortable.” Sloane took a step back and stumbled.
Rooney steadied her with one hand as he brought a white cloth to her mouth with the other. She collapsed in his arms. He shoved her in his car and sped away.
Minutes later his phone rang. He hesitated before answering. “Ferris Buehler, you’re going down.”
“No, Mr. Rooney, you are. Let Sloane go. Or my sister will beat you up, I’ll have your car towed, and you’ll have to ride the school bus.”
The call went dead. Rooney cradled his head in his arms. “What have I gotten myself into?”
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.