A bit of alphabetic fun

Anna over at Quills and Zebras posted another challenge.

The rules are this: write a story that is 26 sentences long. This first sentence must start with the letter ‘A’, and every following sentence begins with the subsequent letter of the alphabet, ending with ‘Z’.

It’s a cute challenge, but there are some letters that are just a bit too difficult to work around.  So I cheated, and went for 26 lines of dialogue instead.  Enjoy!

**Update!  Janette and Chris have joined in, and produced two great SF shorts.  Post a link in the comments here or on Anna’s page if you are going to play .


“All staff initiate emergency procedures.  Exhaust containment failure.

“Bloody hell!  How close is the station?”

“Collision warning.  Collision warning.”


“Engines non-responsive.”


“Get down to the engine room, clear those lines!”

“How?  The blast doors are locked down!”

“Impact in T-minus 10 seconds.”

“Just do it!”

“Karma’s biting back, boys!  Should have left that last freighter alone!”

“Look to your stations, and cut the malarky!”

“My boards are offline.  We’re losing power.”


“Open the port bay and dump the cargo!”

“Port cargo bay dumped.  If this ships a-rockin’, baby, don’t come a-knockin’!”

“Quiet down!  Where’s that power reroute?”

“Rerouting now.  Boards should be coming back up!”


“Thrusters online!  Get us out of here!”

“Unable to engage thrusters!”

“Vitals failing!  We’re losing servo control!”


“Xenon leakage in the hydraulics!  We’ve got pressure overflow!”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”


20 thoughts on “A bit of alphabetic fun

  1. Pingback: The A – Z game « Newtowritinggirl’s Blog

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  4. I had this as an exercise in a recent fiction writing class. It’s published in “What If: Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers” by Bernays and Painter. Except they stipulate that you must have one sentence of exactly 100 words, and one sentence fragment. They called it “Solving for X,” for obvious reasons.

    Neatly done, madam! the dialog’s fun, and the countdown adds tension. Plus, in sci-fi, you can use words like “xenon” and not have it seem awkward!

    • The first line I wrote was “Zero”, and was the inspiration for the whole piece. “Xenon” was the last line, and only after I went through the dictionary looking for words that start with X! Those two letters make the exercise a bit too restrictive in my opinion.

      I’m trying to imagine a 100 word sentence, and failing.

  5. Ha! So clever to do it only with dialogue (and perhaps a little less tricky, as it helps about the awkward sentence structures I ended up using).

    You managed to create quite a vivid scene just with dialogue. I likes.

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