Castles — No Joke — Castles (Saturday Writing Essential)

Filed in Gather Writing Essential by on April 9, 2011 0 Comments

It’s the second Saturday of the month and all of you have read my schedule and know what to expect, right? Good. Now that we understand each other, in May of last year, I posted a challenge to write about war. That only had six submissions (hmm, maybe…).

In that article I gave you five ideas and one of them dealt with Caerlaverock Castle, the traditional Maxwell stronghold. I wrote:

It’s 1275 and you’re a member of the powerful Maxwell Clan in Scotland. Considered to be one of the best architects for military fortifications, you work for the hated English to design and supervise the construction of Caerlaverock Castle, considered to be one of the strongest castles in Scotland. With a radical idea, you build the only triangular-plan castle in the United Kingdom and put in some secret entrance allowing the Scots to take the castle and return it to the ownership of the Maxwell Clan. (Hmm, a bit self-serving you think?)

Yes, that passage was probably self-serving, but no, you don’t have to write about war — I’ll save that one. I want you to write something about castles.

Maybe it’s a man thing, but I think castles are cool. They have turrets, moats, drawbridges, posterns, dungeons, firing ports, and all kinds of other neat things.


This Week’s Challenge:

Pretty much wide open with the understanding that you’re going to write something (prose or poetry; fiction, nonfiction, or essay) that includes anything to do with a castle.



A quick search on the Internet will lead you to any number of castles about which you can write a story.

The fair maiden walks the castle wall waiting for her knight or the knight paces the castle wall dreaming of his fair maiden.

Think outside the box and figure out where else you might find the term castle.

Explain why castles lost out to improvements in offensive weaponry.

Describe the classic siege operation of a castle including the use of catapults, ballistas, and trebuchets in siege operations.

Describe how a castle was built — either the floor plan or the actual construction techniques.

We have many writers on Gather that live in or have roots in the UK. Do any of you have a family castle? Talk about it.

Your great-great-grandmother was born in Fort Laramie, WY, and her old letters referred to it as a castle. Write about how our western forts resembled the castles of old times.

Use the phrase “A man’s home is his castle” for your prompt.


Watch Out For:

If you include a photo of a castle, make sure you have permission to use it.



Even after many people said they didn’t participate in April Fool’s Day, we had an excellent response this week.

Boys will by boys – Saturday Writing Essential  by Brenda Youngerman

April Fool (Saturday Writing Essential)  by Len Maxwell

April Fool’s Guide~An essay for Saturday Writing Essential April 2011.  By JOHN BECK

“The Top 10 Worst Days on the School Calendar” (Saturday Writing Essential)  by Kimberly Blackadar

April Fools – TWE and SATwe  by Priya P.

April Fool, for Saturday Writing Essentials  by Sheila Deeth

We Won the Lottery – Sort of  by Lynn (Gather’s Official Not-Poet) P.

April Fool – SatWE, Saturday Writing Essentials -  by Elsie Duggan

April Fool – Saturday Writing Essential  by stephen berwaldt

April First Birthday Cake : (Saturday Writing Essentials)  by William Dotani

As always, I’ll mention that these writers worked hard to provide you with these submissions. It would be merely a matter of courtesy if you’d read each one of them and, please, remember to click on the “recommend” button for each of them. Thank you.


The Rules:

  • Put this challenge statement at the beginning or end of your submission so readers will know what you’re supposed to do.

Challenge: Pretty much wide open with the understanding that you’re going to write something (prose or poetry; fiction, nonfiction, or essay) that includes anything to do with a castle.

  • There is a limit of three submissions from each member per day. If you’re extremely prolific, spread out your work and post only three submissions per day.
  • Post to Gather Writing Essential.
  • Tag your submission with SatWE.
  • Include (Saturday Writing Essential) as part of your title.
  • I ask that you make your submission(s) by next Friday afternoon.

Good Writing!

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