Find two lines from a book on your shelf and write a short story

Today’s exercise comes from a Writer’s Digest article by Brian Klems, where he gives 12-days of writing exercises.

This is day-6’s exercise:

“Select a book on your shelf and pick two chapters at random. Take the first line of one chapter and the last line of the other chapter and write a short story (no more than 1000 words) using those as bookends to your story.”


Directly above my computer rests a row of books. Between Geothe’s  Young Werther and Bukowski’s collection of letters On Writing is Buk’s 1994 Pulp. To be honest, I haven’t had the chance to read Pulp yet, the last of his books to be published in his lifetime. I know I will make time eventually, but until then, I’m glad this exercise got me to at least unfurl its cover pages. The two chapters I selected at random were 40, and 28. Attached is the story, written with Buk in mind.



What book did you pick from your shelf? Leave your short story as a comment below:

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