Friday, April 29, 2011

Z is for ... Zoetrope

I was going to finish this A - Z challenge with a stupid comic-book word like zounds, or zippidy just to celebrate reaching the end of the alphabet. But then I remembered my all time favorite Z word: zoetrope.

What is a zoetrope? It's an early moving picture device, a barrel with slits cut into it that you look through. I strip of paper with drawings on it is inserted on the inside, and when the barrel is spun and you look through the slits, it appears the picture is moving. It's usually something simple like an acrobat flipping himself over a bar, or someone climbing a ladder.

It is also the name of Francis Coppola's production company.

So, to celebrate the end of this epic A-Z challenge, here is a 100 word story using words from A - Z and without any repeated words. The 100 words, no repeats story is one of my favorite challenges as a writer. You really have to think about your word choices and structure to be able to do it well. Adding in the A - Z aspect just ups the challenge even more.



Audience queue, jostling, kicking their path towards velvet upholstered chairs, popcorn spilling onto crimson carpets, then bouncing downstairs. Anticipation hangs heavy over near-full theatre. Best seats - front middle - taken first. Back row reserved for snuggling lovers. Projector hums, whines. Celluloid streaks through, xenon lamp flickering images on-screen. Dumpy manager screams threats at young ruffians who stick gum under their seats. Everyone shushes them, attention directed to huge titles announcing a Zoetrope Production. Whispering becomes silence as film begins. Giggles erupting, becoming guffaws. Tears flow when heroine meets tragedy, hero’s heart breaking. Movie finished, crowd stumble from darkness, satisfied.

What do you do to challenge yourself as a writer?


  1. Whew - impressive post! WOW - I don't think I could do that. wow.

  2. Kate, we did it! Congratulations! I have an award for you!!

  3. You just reminded me that I signed up with Zoetrope several years ago. THANK YOU for the reminder. I am in the process of completing a script and I had forgotten about that site. Please find my latest A-Z Challenge blogs here: