Master Class 2014 Volume IV

Storch-BadgeWow!! Y’all blew me away this past week! That long prompt Kelly chose was HARD, but y’all rose to the challenge! Here is the prompt, from The Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner: ”He was the only one left to fulfill that contract and try to justify the labor and the harshness and the mistakes of his parents’ lives, and that responsibility was so clearly his, was so great an obligation, that it made unimportant and unreal the sight of the motley collection of pall-bearers staggering under the weight of his father’s body, and the back door of the hearse closing quietly upon the casket and the flowers.”

There were 10 submissions this week, 3 of which are debuts! Such fantastic writing! This also made it incredibly difficult to pick someone to chose the new prompt! Here’s why:

Kelly answered her own prompt with Mistakes. In her story, the “he” from the line does something pretty amazing with the obligation he needs to fill. Here’s a sample from her story:

“Sit down, child. I’m saying your Momma made mistakes. Mistakes you can learn from. Mistakes that don’t have to be repeated. Lord knows, I love Janine. But sometimes,” Izza clenched her fists. “I just want to shake that child of mine. Getting messed up the wrong sorts. That’s what did her in.”

Tara’s Contractual Obligations is about a woman who thought her debts were paid, only to realize they weren’t. Tara has a way with words that will raise the hair on your back. Here’s proof:

When I noticed him sitting on the meditation bench in front of the family crypt, I tried to stay inconspicuous in the shade of a pin oak. I thought it was odd, him simply sitting there. I never considered that anyone would really use the bench, that and he should still be dead.

Troy made his return with style, offering up fiction that read like memoir. Decide for yourself:

So the hearse doors closed, and the body was buried. But the belief was not. Though I could’ve swore that I caught a glimpse of J.C.’s back, as He walked delicately across the partially frozen cemetery grounds, just like all the others, slowly away from me.

Rebecca’s debut story is about a man who turns the tables on his father and his obligation. Written well, she fit into the Master Class smoothly. Here’s a sampling from Indentured:

Yes, this had been his life and, in a sense, he had been a slave as well.  He was forced to keep quiet and never speak against the organization because, blood or not, he too meet a fatal end. Not by his father’s hands, of course, but by one of his henchmen.  In his house, money was the God he prayed to and obeyed.

Steph returned in style, too, offering a story with a helluva ending (surprise!) that will stay with you long after you read Obligation. Without giving it away, here’s an excerpt to hook you:

Ambition found him as it does the investment bankers and entrepreneurs the world over. Ambition for a certain level of renown. We all want that, don’t we? That’s what he believed. He believed it still. He would make something of himself, and this acreage he’d been allotted, the same acres his parents had sweated the whole of their lives.

Yet another debut, by an author named Lisa, with a beautifully”out of the box” crafted story that used the prompt throughout her piece, The Child’s Obligation, really met the challenge. Her way with words is phenomenal. See for yourself:

“Fulfill the contract” he snorted aloud to himself, tucking the book beneath his arm, hauling light into the truck and taking off in a fury of exhaust and blood red clouds of misery anger. The words trickling through his mind as he drove, even as he pulled off the main road, dust puffs piling up, those words rattled singsong in his ears, memorized at first glance; branded upon his mind alongside the lines upon her forehead and the broad spots upon his hands.

Amanda Lynn has been working on her story for a very long time. Our prompt helped her add a melancholy new storyline to it that is so emotion packed it will tug at your heart. Here’s a line from Forced Goodbyes:

He moved quickly away from the grave and scooped a sobbing Anabella into his arms. “I’ll never leave you,” He whispered in her ear, hoping he was telling the truth.

Wisper’s Genesis of the End is a short but fabulous read. It started with prompts from two other writing memes, and the end she wrote for the Master Class went something like this:

While they may have been the first to succumb to the virus, they weren’t the last.  And now it was up to him.  Up to him to make it right.  Up to him to stop the spread of the virus.

The Professor (Aka as me) took part of the long sentence and used it in the 22nd excerpt of her fantasy, The Elven Games. It helped the new story line come to fruition and revealed a new truth about Edgar. Wanna see?

Tribba’s eyes widened as realization dawned on her face. Edgar was not the poor scraggler they had thought him to be. “Your kingdom? You say that with such authority. It is not just where you come from, is it?”

But it was November Rain’s debut story that really grabbed me this week. Her descriptions just take you wholly into the story, forgetting the world around you. She provides plenty of it in A Rocky Beginning:

Obligations were like boulders that rolled over his smile. He had signed up for this, pressed his name into the pages of time that demanded he oblige them.

I asked her to open the 5th book of her choosing to the 5th chapter and give me the 5th true line of the 5th paragraph. She chose the 5th book in one of her many piles. Your prompt for next week is:


And since this is a week of 5ths, your challenge is to use this line as a 5th in your story. For newcomers, that means you can use it as the 5th sentence or any multiple of 5, as the first line of your 5th paragraph, etc. Anything goes as long as it is in a 5th position, any genre, any length.

Your assignment is due Tuesday, February 18, by 9:00 pm EST.

The link up is now live.

Ready? Set? Write!


  1. Reblogged this on Scorpio Scribe and commented:
    Master Class is a wonderful writing circle hosted by a very dear friend of mine. Each week a participant is given the opportunity to chose a prompt from a book. Typically the Professor will provide a guideline (ie choose the 3rd book on your self and give us the 3rd line from the paragraph of chapter 3). Feel free to pop in, link up, share critique and help build a wonderful writing community!
    *Scribe happy*


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