Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #1 — Coffee

Welcome to Week 1 of Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge! Check the post for how it works and how to join in.
Welcome to Week 1 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge!

This week’s random word is: Coffee.

Here’s my response, and a little on how I went about it.

With the prompt in mind and panic in my heart, I set the timer for five minutes and wrote what popped into my head about coffee.

Here it is, unedited:

Coffee. What was there to say other than I shouldn’t have had another one. The jitters ruined everything, caused me to fuck up. The target got away. He was going to kill again, now that I failed to do my job—a simple fucking job. Maybe I can get ahead of him again. Set up in a better position. Take the time to steady my breathing before pulling the trigger. Redeem myself. No, there was no redemption for me. Ever. All I can do is carry what I’ve done with me, my failure to protect those I loved.

Once the timer was up, I walked away for ten minutes, not thinking about what I’d written. When I came back, I read over the text and hit upon a sentence that intrigued me.

My genre is romantic suspense, so getting to murder from coffee is a pretty straight line for me. The text is cliched, cringy, and super on-the-nose. But, it’s words on the page and something I can noodle around with.

This is the sentence that piqued my interest: What was there to say other than I shouldn’t have had another one. So, now, I’m going to write about that for another five-minute sprint.

Here’s the result (basic editing only):

The plastic of the cable ties bit into Claudia’s wrists, lifting some of the fog from her brain. She was in a car with the killer. Fear clawed at her, refusing to let her open her eyes.

“I know you’re awake, sweetheart.”

Owen? Her eyes flew open. He and his team must have saved her while she was out cold. She opened her mouth to ask him how he knew where she was but stopped. He was driving with one hand on the wheel while the other held his .45 ACP in his lap. Pointed at her.

The man she’d fallen for, risked her life for, was the killer. Her throat tightened. “You drugged me.”

Owen nodded, his lips quirking into the slow smile that had made her melt. “Wasn’t difficult. You never say no to coffee.” He pulled them off onto an overgrown, rutted track.

This was where he was going to kill her.

I don’t know the characters—other than Claudia is the heroine and Owen is the hero, or much about how it started, or how Claudia gets out of her current predicament. But, I’m quite interested to see where this story goes.

If you’d like to join in, here’s How it works

  1. Don’t think too hard on the noun; just write about it for five minutes (this can be non-fiction, stream-of-consciousness, etc.).
  2. Once the five minutes are up, walk away for about five/ten minutes.
  3. Now, come back to the text and re-read it.
  4. Pick out something that piques your interest and write some fiction about that for five minutes.
  5. Be courageous and post your results to your blog. (Both sets of writing sessions or just the fiction one, it’s up to you.)


  1. Complete the challenge on your blog before 1700 UTC of the following Friday.
  2. Link to the original prompt post and make sure to use the tag Genre Scribes so that we can see all the posts together in WP Reader.
  3. Your second set of text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. The fiction text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene (full or partial), flash fiction, anything… so long as it’s fiction.

Full information is on the Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge page.

Author: Susan T. Braithwaite

Royal Navy veteran from Scotland. My journey into writing started with a screenwriting certificate program at UCLA Ext. Since then, I've worked as a freelance content writer, erotica author, proofreader, professional beta reader, and content editor. I'm now working hard on my dream writing career: romantic suspense author. When I'm not writing, I can be found drinking too much coffee, obsessing over yarn, and planning world domination with my husband,, and our squirrel army.​

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