[Write on Wednesday] Not The First

On this day in 1972 John Young and Charles Duke were the 9th and 10th humans to land on the moon. They weren’t the first crew to touch down, nor were they the last (that was the mission after theirs). What they did was still mind-blowingly complex, but didn’t garner nearly as much attention.

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

The Prompt

Write about a character (or duo) who is doing something new and difficult, but they’re not the first to achieve it. What does that do to their attitude to the task, to their relationship with each other, to their relationship with the people around them?


  • You could write about a scientific achievement, or the second group to reach a particular mountain’s summit; a person breaking a long-standing record (but not being the first person to do it); a person doing a difficult and precise  job for the 100th time to no fanfare…
  • This story could be in the form of a narrative story OR a newspaper report or series of social media updates. This gives you an opportunity to explore the flexibility of the short story form.
  • This story could focus on the feelings of the characters, or on the events of the achievement. Or you could write it in separate sections that address separate aspects (like Jennifer Wortmann did in this story)
  • Use this week to break free of the narrative expectations, if you’re used to novel-writing. Play with the possibilities of the short form.

If you share you story somewhere (and here’s why you might not want to) post a link here so we can come and read it.

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

Discussion: Did you write something weird and wonderful today? What form did your story take? What achievement did your characters make? Leave a comment.

One thought on “[Write on Wednesday] Not The First”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The StoryADay

I, WRITER Course


A 6-part journey through the short story.

Starts July 28, 2023