Friday, May 24th, 2013

Writing Prompt – A Bit of Randomness

A very young girl in curlers and make up.I’m heading over to Balticon later on today, and it’s been a frenetic week preparing. Not because I’ve got such a large schedule — I deliberately don’t have much of one at all this year — but because life just got in the way.

I’m sure there’s a blog post/writing prompt for “life getting in the way” but that seemed kind of vague to me this morning. Watch for it later, I’m certain.

So, today’s prompts are rather random. Just some ideas I’ve been playing with that haven’t gone together for one huge post…and they all start with the photo.

Your options: choose the photo for the prompt, one or some of the prompts, or all of them (that might prove interesting!) and write away.

The Random Prompts

  • A woman on her honeymoon is shocked to learn a major secret from her husband’s past.
  • “Uncle John, I don’t like this.”
  • I loved her with all my heart – but every day she became more of a leech.
  • While driving to work one day, you decide to drive by the office, and just keep going.
  • A woman on her honeymoon is shocked to learn a major secret from her husband’s past.
Friday, February 8th, 2013

Writing Prompt: Take Away Their Tools

I had surgery earlier this week. I can’t drive (or walk, for that matter) until at least February 27.

Great! (I thought.) With all the commute time I’ll be saving to work, I can get more writing done.

And then my laptop broke.

I’m stuck using a crappy little mini (I actually used to be fond of) to do my writing. The keyboard is super-tiny, and it’s considered QWERTY, but the apostrophe/double-quote key is in the wrong place. I keep hitting returns when I punctuate my dialogue. (Bad, very bad for a writer.)

It’s slow going.

Like a character in one of my books, I’ve been stymied. (Although I have to admit, I do much worse things to my characters.)

The point is, this is creating some drama in my life (and the lives of the people very close to me) because it starts to spill over.

And life doesn’t stop. I’ve got commitments I need to take care of, so I have to work around the impaired walking and non-driving and crappy tech.

Just like a character.

Here’s Your Prompt

  • In your next scene, make your character work for what he wants or wants to accomplish. Take away something important. Be devious about it: if you don’t want your character driving, don’t just take his license away, make them have foot surgery. 🙂 Make the stakes higher; take away something that not only your character needs, but what others depend on him for.
  • If you journal, write about a time you were stopped in the pursuit of your goals by the loss of something (you missed a deadline, you failed a test, or lost something tangible) and how you worked around it to accomplished your desires. [This should not be a story of “oh, well, it was meant to be” or “I was better off not doing it!”]

Good luck!

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Writing Prompt – When the Urge Strikes

Alien Highway  - The Most Desolate Stretch of Road in the US, according to the NY TimesI was heading to work Wednesday morning this week — my first day back in the office after a long Christmas Holiday — when I’d finally reached the exit for the highway.

The signs loomed above me: east in one direction, west in the other. Usually, I’m on autopilot at a little after 5 a.m. in the morning, and veer eastbound strictly out of habit.

But Wednesday I had the strongest — the strangest — urge to take the westbound ramp and just keep going.

The closer I got to the ramp, the stronger the urge grew, so much so that I had to grip the steering wheel hard and make a conscious effort to make the left hand turn instead of drifting into the right hand on-ramp.

Even after I made the turn and was heading east, something inside me cried out for a U-turn (impossible on this divided highway – I would have spent time playing the clover leaf should I have succumbed to my urges).

Urges are motivated by something, either conscious or unconscious, and I’ve yet to decipher what my motivation was.

We could argue that it was some ghostly pull inspiring the desire to drive westward, but it could have simply been that I had such a blast with family and friends over the holidays that I was reluctant to end that euphoria by schlepping back to work.

Another motivation could be that work is such a heinous place (yeah, it has its moments) that I didn’t want to go back. Somehow, I think my westward urge would have manifested before Wednesday morning if that were the case.

Whatever the reason, I managed to suppress the desire and arrive safely to toil at my workaday endeavors without further incident.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • If you’re a journal or diarist, write about the time you succumbed to the will of an urge. What was your motivation? Did you anticipate the action with glee only to end in despair? Did giving in prove wildly exciting? Do you have any regrets? Do you wish you’d given in to more urges?
  • Write a story or a scene in which a character falls prey to an urge that is completely out of character for him. Why did he do it? What was the motivation? Did it end badly or well??
  • Write a story or scene about a character who stands firm against an urge…something she’s not known for doing. Where did she find the power to resist? Does the scene end badly, or well? Does she regret not giving in, or feel self-righteous that she was able to stand firm?
  • Some quick prompts:
    • a friend urges another to rid herself of a (real or perhaps not) physical imperfection
    • a wife urges her husband to overcome a sexual inhibition
    • a psychologist urges his patient to face a truth
    • a student urges another to deface a university building
    • you feel the urge to tell a lie to someone close to you

Photo obtained from NY Times Web site.