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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Dead End (02/06/14)

TITLE: Nothing To Laugh About
By Graham Insley


"Frank, we're going to have to go back."

"Harry, I can't... there's no way... I can't go back"

"Mate, come on. Pull yourself together. Susan needs you."

"You don't get it do you. I can't face it; it's just more than I can deal with."

"Killing yourself won't make it any easier for her. Now come back from the edge and let's go back."

"I'm not trying to make it easier for her, Harry. It's me that's not coping. Three weeks from now Susan won't know or care what's happened to me. The cancer is already stealing her mind. I can't just watch her die."

"Please, Frank, come away from the edge. You are scaring the daylights out of me. Look, mate, this is a total dead end here. You either come back with me or... go over that edge and it really is a dead end. No more second chances, no more maybes, you'll be dead and Susan will know that you did this. Is that what you want; for Susan's last few weeks to be filled with that sort
of pain?"

"Come on, Harry, don't do that to me."

"Frank, this is you doing it. And you are doing it to Susan and everybody else that loves you."


"This is not you, mate. Something's snapped inside of you under all the stress that's going down. Pull up, man. We need some time out here so we can figure this out. Come away from the edge, blast it!"

"Cut, cut, cut!"

"What's wrong, Sydney? Is it still not good enough for you?"

"Gentlemen, you sound like a pair of high school boys arguing over marbles. This is a dramatic scene. We need to hear panic in your voice, Joey. Frank's best mate is about to take his own life and he is desperate. It's got to show in the voice, Joey... you've got to get into character here and sound panicky."

"I'm sorry, Sydney. It's that line about this being a 'dead end'. It's too corny and I can't get panicky when it's playing around inside my head. To be honest it just makes me want to laugh."

"Okay, okay. I guess I see that. But listen, the whole point here is that your best friend is about to take his own life. Think about it, wouldn't that make you panic?"

"Well... I guess if he didn't know Jesus then I'd be a bit panicky. I don't want anyone to end up where that'll take 'em. Yeah, I could get into a bit of a panic over that. Man, that is a real 'dead end', literally."

"Yeah, that's better. I can even hear the change in your voice and see it in your eyes. That's a dead end that is not a laughing matter. Okay, let's try it again, keep that thought and... ready everyone... quiet on the set and... action!"

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This article has been read 291 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Toni Hammer02/15/14
I know you were seeking red ink, but this is just brilliant. What a great angle. I'm new to FW but I'm really looking forward to reading more of your work.
Rachel Malcolm 02/15/14
Wow, I love this! The dialogue at the beginning really drew me into the story.

By making it into a movie scene, you have tension, humour, and a message too! :)

As a side note, I recently saw a news clip that showed an accident, taken by a dash cam. The guy wasn't hurt, but the terror in that man's voice still shakes me up. You don't hear that in movies!
lynn gipson 02/16/14
Compelling and very well written. I was completely taken in until the "cut, cut, cut!" This is great writing here. No red ink from me.
Yannick Ford02/17/14
Superb, especially with the powerful message right at the end. This is story that will stay in my mind!
C D Swanson 02/18/14
Wonderful bit of writing here, I echo everyone's comments.

God Bless~
Lillian Rhoades 02/19/14
Great job with the surprise story angle. Tiny red ink..."Maybe" has no plural.
Excellent dialogue that helped to create the tension.

Bea Edwards 02/19/14
I'm not qualified to offer much red ink but even if I were- I don't think any would be flowing from my pen.
You're a masterful storyteller young man!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/20/14
Congratulations in ranking 29 overall! Happy Dance!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/06/14
I love this. I'm a sucker for twists and it doesn't happen often that I get drawn in so when I do I'm even more excited. You also introduced it at the perfect time.

I think if you could have added some narrative details to help the reader picture the scene, instead of just dialog, that would help the reader connect with you even more. For example:"Killing yourself won't make it any easier for her. Now come back from the edge and let's go back." Just then a gust of wind whipped at his back making him wobble and grasp the nearest stabilizing object.
I know that's not perfect, but hopefully it shows what I mean and still stays true to your twist and storyline.

I think you did an outstanding job with the topic. Suicide is definitely a dead end and the way you introduced it encased in a movie would make it easier for people to talk about. That's the goal of a good writer--to make the reader think. You definitely did that.