Genre Scribes: Friday Fiction Writing Challenge #3 — Backpack

Week 3: Backpack
Welcome to Week 3 of the Friday Fiction Writing Challenge!

This week’s random word is: Backpack.

This week’s word was a little easier for me to work with as backpacks can hold so much—weekend gear, camping gear, food, drink, a severed head. So, as with the other weeks, I took the word and wrote about it for a five-minute sprint.

Here’s the result (unedited):

How she managed to pack so much into such a small space confounded him. He dumped the bulging backpack down on the makeshift bed.

“Hey! Careful.” She yanked the bag upright.

He leaned against the wall, watching as she rummaged through the bag. If these were her essentials, he didn’t want to know what her non-essentials were. “Got anything in there that’s going to help us?”

She emptied the backpack, inspecting each item before laying them on the bed: first aid kit, ammo, bottle of rum. “I packed to take him down.” She swung the bottle like it was a pocket watch. “You want a drink or is that against the rules, too?

This woman. He chased the thought away and grabbed the bottle from her. “Rules were meant to be broken.” Not that he ever believed that; he had a healthy respect for the rules.

After a short break, I came back and read the above to see if anything piqued my interest. The last sentence interested me: Not that he ever believed that; he had a healthy respect for the rules. Something about it made me want to explore it more, so I wrote about that for a further five-minute sprint.

The result (basic editing):

Matt corrected Gwen’s stance as she aimed down range. He was breaking protocol by training her. Everything he was doing with her was against the rules. Rules were the backbone of his life. Everything went to shit when he broke them. It was never on a sliding scale. Just death and destruction. Rules and order kept everyone safe, safe from him. Death followed him, waiting for him to fuck up.

And falling in love? Well, that would be the biggest fuck up of his life. Not that he ever planned on falling for anyone. But plans seldom survived contact with the enemy. And that’s who Gwen was, he needed to remind himself of that.

Gwen’s weapon jammed, and she shooed his hands away as he stepped in to help her. “Let me do this.” She cleared the jam just like he’d taught her, a grin spread across her mouth.

Heat bloomed in his chest. Shit. He was going to get them both killed.

This second section is going to be helpful for me in the next week. I’m outlining a story for Matt and Gwen, and I’ve been trying to get inside Matt’s head—and not getting very far. I knew he had a thing for rules but didn’t really have any idea why. I now have somewhere to dig deeper, and it gives me his flawed reasons for not falling in love.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Don’t think too hard on the noun; just write about it for five minutes.
  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 about that for five minutes.
  5. Be courageous and post your results to your blog. (Both sets of writing sessions or just the 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 text must be fiction (preferably one you publish in (or plan to).
  4. No real-life stories.
  5. The text can be dialogue, an interior monologue, a scene, 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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