Friday, January 25th, 2013

Writing Prompt – Soothsayers and Oracles

Line Drawing of the Human Hand with Palm Reading Symbols Drawn On itI’ve probably mentioned this before: the main character in my work-in-progress is a finder. You can tell her about things you’ve lost, and she can help you find them…with a little bit of help from the universe and a little ritual she performs.

And in Blood Soup, the lead character depends on her nurse — a midwife and a witch — who ‘rolls the bones’ to determine the gender of the unborn child.

Through time and across tribes, clans and peoples we’ve had scryers and seers to whom we can turn for answers. Today, people read their horoscopes, visit palm readers, and deal tarot cards.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Develop a character who has regular appointments with a seer (a palm reader, a gypsy, a tarot card reader). Why does she have regular appointments? What answers does he seek?
  • Write a believable dialogue between two people where one begins with the question, “What’s your sign?”
  • Write a scene where a skeptic is forced to confront his prejudices when something everything a seer has told him has come to pass.
  • Write a poem with the opening line, “The fortune teller said…”
  • Write about something that happened in your former life.
  • Write about rolling the bones, or scattering runes.
  • Write about a lucky charm that brought bad luck.
  • Write about the last dream you remember having. Afterward, find an a book or internet resource on dream interpretation and write about what it means.

Good luck!

The image of the hand comes from the book The Woman Beautiful, page 308, by Ella Adelia Fletcher. 1901. Work is currently in the public domain since the copyright has expired.