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Day 7- Fourth Grade Spelling List by Julie Duffy

Cram all these words into a story, and tell your inner editor to hush…in today’s StoryADay Writing Prompt

The Prompt

Use these words in a story:
poison
kingdom
keyboard
castle
garbage
vocal
syllables
seventy
mountain
return

In the past I’ve used spelling word lists from my own children’s 3rd Grade (https://storyaday.org/write-on-wednesday-third-grade-word-list/) homework. Sadly, those children are way too tall for spelling homework anymore (and let autocorrect do most of the work for them), so I’m upgrading you to a spelling list for Fourth Graders that I found online.

What is the point of writing a story from such a silly prompt, I hear you ask?

The point is that it is silly.

As soon as you start to practice your writing consistently, the voices in your head begin: “You must write something good if you’re going to spend this much time alone with your imaginary friends. You must justify your time by writing deathless prose that will win awards, and you must do it now.”

And those voices are the ones that will block you, stall you, send you running from your desk not to reappear for months or even years.

Today’s writing prompt encourages you to lower the bar.

Today’s triumph is that you manage to write something — anything — that resembles a story and contains these words.

Simply writing, is your goal, today. Not writing something good. Just writing.

Have a go. You might even like it!


Julie Duffy

Julie Duffy is the founder of StoryADay and takes silliness very seriously.

Bingo!

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Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!

25 thoughts on “Day 7- Fourth Grade Spelling List by Julie Duffy”

  1. “return” pointed me in what I thought was going to be a slightly autobiographical direction, but it turned out to be much more than I anticipated! I enjoyed writing my little brother as a character, even if his quest to Parent Trap the family back together via faking an assassination plot on himself was a bit heartbreaking, and the rest was stuff I didn’t even really know I was thinking, so it’s good food for reflection even if I don’t come back to revise it later.
    And I had fun finding a way to fit in all the words 🙂

  2. Another fun challenge. Ended up being 92 words. I had to remind myself to be silly and just have fun. After I finished, it felt good.

  3. I was still traveling during the sprint hour and was bummed to miss it.

    When I got home, I chose the 100 word story format for the spelling list words, and got it done.
    I chose that format because I like how it demands clean and lean writing.

    I’m learning to be at peace with rough drafts. My default has been to get a little stuck…working on the perfect sentence, trying to perfect a story as I go. I love the freedom of letting ideas flow onto paper. I love not judging myself as I go because I’m testing new approaches, creating new characters, trying new angles…and it doesn’t have to be perfect. It feels good to just let go and write.

    Thanks for hosting this challenge!

  4. Even though it’s Saturday, I couldn’t sleep past my usual work wake-up time. Played catch-up with yesterday’s story (turning the outline into a draft) and wrote today’s all before 7:30 AM. Of course, I took a catnap later, lol!

  5. An underdeveloped first draft. When the inventor of the Seize the Mountain board game receives an email message from one of her super fans requesting a meeting as he has uncovered in the game a strategy that could be a blueprint for murder, she has to choose whether to break her own rule about personal contact with fans, or whether to ignore his plea.
    At first, I couldn’t really come up with much, but then just started brainstorming the words, and how they might connect…I am enjoying reading everyone else’s approach to this challenge.

  6. It was nice to write with other people at the sprint this morning. I had fun with this list – it is one of my favorite prompts. I also combined today’s prompt with the retelling prompt from several days ago.

  7. Fun Prompt.
    Katie from the Marina District in England discovered a family secret. The poison of the secret changed not only who her family had been for generations but also who she was. How was she going to continue to live her life now? Could she? Only time will tell for Katie and her family.

  8. Didn’t read about the writing sprint until it was too late (:. That’ll teach me to check email more frequently!
    Today’s prompt looks like fun! I’m chuckling already.

  9. Another fun prompt! During this morning’s writer’s sprint on Zoom, I wrote a nano story at 122 words. It was a present day domestic violence situation in which the abuser received his comeuppance. Loving Story-A-Day May and looking forward to Day 8!

  10. I wrote about some different characters today. Another book that I’m going to start plotting out, also the second in a series(even though I thought book 1 would be a standalone…for those here that know me, this won’t be a surprise). Natalie was the main character in book 1, so she’s already gotten her HEA, but as I was reading through that one, I wanted to know more about Lee. So, not they get their own story. 😀 Not sure if this will end up in the story or not, but writing these little bits can give me insight into a character.

    “I could always just put poison in his cup.”
    “And how does that help you get in the castle? The king is not the only one standing in the way of you taking over the kingdom.”
    Lee sighed and tapped at the edge of the keyboard. Natalie was so much better at these strategy games. “I swear I’ve tried seventy different times. I’m never going to get past this quest, and be able to get past this level.”
    “Sure you can,” Natalie said, always a vocal support for Lee. “Just take out the garbage and return with a better plan.”
    “I should just go build a home in the mountain and give up on this.”
    “Lee,” Natalie said, drawing their name out into several syllables. “Don’t give up yet. I’ll help you come up with a better strategy.”
    Lee slumped back in their seat. They’d wanted to figure it out on their own, but what else was a best friend for than to help when you couldn’t quite manage on your own.

    1. First of all, Fallon…
      “but what else was a best friend for than to help when you couldn’t quite manage on your own.” 💕 best line and truest sentiments.

      And second- it sounds like a new series is brewing?! You are a powerhouse wordsmith

    1. Loved it! Not sure if my comment went through on your blog but it was very clever how you used keyboard!

  11. I made a mistake in the sentence starting with “You pig! Don’t you know how to talk to your King?”
    The last 2 words should be ‘your Queen’ instead.
    I always write in a hurry and am long past the stage when I was serious about a writing career. Even then the mistake is a stark reminder of the need to slow down.
    My apologies to anyone who may be going through the story. Happy weekend.

    1. Rathin, what a fantastic story!!
      I was on the edge of my seat and I love the lyrical flow.

      Don’t worry about mistakes at all!! When I check in the comments I always love to read your contributions. Being a writer means many things to different people but it doesn’t really matter if you want to have a writing career or write in a notebook that never leaves your house; you’re a writer either way 🙂

  12. Nothing from met today – camping.

    Did add a picture to my porta potti prose though.

    Maybe I’ll play catch-up tomorrow.

  13. I have been writing relentlessly For the whole day, today. For this prompt I decided to write with the words arranged as they are. Just like that!
    I am sure you will agree that I have made a good use of the prompt.
    Let me present my story :
    AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER… …
    “I’d rather drink this poison than part with my child,” the old man announced.
    ” This kingdom is mine. I’ve all the wealth of the world. I’ve all that one can aspire for. Only I don’t have a child. If you let me adopt her, I’ll make you a knight. Just imagine what a luxurious and comfortable life you’ll have.” The Queen told him in a friendly tone.
    The Recordist was busy typing out furiously at the keyboard. The conversation will be circulated amongst all those that mattered in the kingdom.
    “And that’s not all,” the Queen continued. ‘I’ll also offer you one of the finest castles in my kingdom. You can go and spend the rest of your life there. What else do you want? You name it and I’ll give it to you. The only thing I beg of you in return is your daughter.”
    The man’s face betrayed the pain in his heart. The man at the keyboard typed on.
    “Look at her,” said the Minister. “in rags, with dirt all over her body, she looks like garbage. What kind of life will she have with you? What kind of future will she have? Don’t deprive your daughter of a life like a dream, you foolish man.”
    The man looked at the Minister first before looking up at the King. He mumbled out something incomprehensible.
    “You pig! Don’t you know how to talk to your King?” The Minister became very angry and vocal all on a sudden.
    “Your Majesty. I’m illiterate, ignorant. I never went to school or studied about the syllables. At seventy, there is not much time left for. I don’t crave for the riches. The daughter is all I’ve lived for. I was promise-bound to take good care of her. If you’ll allow me, I wanna go back to the mountain.” The man said very humbly.
    “What do you want to do that for?” The Queen, intrigued, asked him.
    “I want to return the girl to her real father, who asked me to take care of her in his absence. He told me his Queen and subjects took him for dead. He wanted to go up to the mountains and live the life of an ascetic. As it was not safe to take his daughter with him, he left her in my care.” The old man was visibly tiring, even then the Queen couldn’t help asking him :
    “Where do you meet this man? ”
    “In the edge of the forest the day we lost the battle.”
    ” Did he give you anything else?” The Queen stood up out of excitement.
    The man was about to shake her head when he put his hand and brought out a golden chain out of a hidden pocket.
    It soon transpired that the girl was none other than The Princess who was believed to have been killed with her father, the King, when the enemies attacked the Kingdom of Ambrosia.

    Princess Nilanjana was coronated soon afterwards. She, being a kind hearted woman, didn’t forget her adopted father AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER… …

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