Weekly Writing Assignment

A weekly writing contest open to everyone.

Weekly Writing Assignment #9: Trapped!

Posted on September 16th, 2009 by by Daniel

One of my biggest fears is being trapped inside a box. Specifically, a coffin. And then being burried alive. There’s something about the tightness of the space, the limited supply of oxygen, the fact that even if I were to escape the coffin, I’d still be way underground, and the fact that no one could hear me. It really freaks me out. As a result, I generally try to avoid coffins. sitting in them, or even being near them.

The feeling of being trapped seems to be a universal fear that many people share. But there’s many ways to be trapped. You can feel trapped in a job you hate. You can feel trapped in a relationship. You can feel trapped in a state of mind, a state of being, a behavior pattern. You can even be trapped inside a country (remind me to tell you about the time I was trapped in Brazil).

Your assignment this week is to write a short narrative about someone who is trapped. It can be a physical entrapment, a mental entrapment or an emotional entrapment. Help us, the readers, understand what that feels like. But don’t just spend your limited space (see the length limit below) on describing the thing in which the character is trapped. Spend time also describing the character’s physical reaction to the entrapment. Is your character sweating, is his or her heart pounding, is he or she wanting to claw their eyes out.In fact, limit yourself to describing only 2 things:

  1. The thing the character is trapped in
  2. The character’s reaction.

Limiting yourself in this way will be the perfect opportunity to practice showing and not telling, a key characteristic of almost all writing (but especially fiction).

Length: 300 words maximum

Due date: Midnight, September 22, 2009.

Send your completed assignment to weeklywritingassignment@gmail.com. Please include the assignment number in the subject of your email. Please also include your name and email in the header of your entry. And if you are on Twitter, please let me know what your Twitter ID is so I can tweet it.

Late assignments will not be accepted.
Good luck!


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