Friday, April 5th, 2013

Writing Prompt: Behind Closed Doors

Red door with green awning over top.

I got inspired by doors today.

Doors are like choices, or decisions. Prompts for action: should you open it or leave it shut? Should you step through, or remain on this side?

And there are so many doors, and an equal (if not double!) amount of choices.

What’s more, the sight of a door leaves one with the impression of what might be behind it. A set of French doors with sheer white curtains might inspire a light and airy dining area. A solid wooden door on the face of a Boston brownstone might convey upper-crust society. A green door, surrounded by ivy and flowering potted plants might imply adventure.

But the frightening aspect is that the appearance could be illusion. A giant troll could live behind the fairy door. An impoverished family — self-imploding on the fracturing nature of drug addition or alcohol abuse — might live behind the brownstone door. The French doors might conceal the dark recess of a sociopath’s hideaway.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • As you drive, or walk, down the street today, take notice of doors. Choose one which inspires you and write the story of what lies behind it.
     
  • If you’re writing a story or a novel, make a list of all the figurative doors (choices) which your character might have to walk through. Make the list long and detailed. Choose the most horrific option for your character, and write how he or she resolves the situation. Don’t just write about the scene, show the scene: let us know how the character is feeling — and thinking — about the decision. Was it the right decision to make, despite the horror of it?
     
  • If you journal, or write memoir (or even family history) write a story about when you — or someone else — literally stepped through a door. Were your expectations met or not? Were you surprised by the situation you found behind the door? How did you feel about what happened?
     
  • If you write poetry — make a list of doors. Describe them: their color, their surroundings, their ornamentation. Decide what lies behind each door. Write a poem about the most interesting one, or, write a poem about all of them.
     

Good luck!

 
 
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Photo © Colleen Coombe | Dreamstime Stock Photos

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