Friday, January 20th, 2012

Writing Prompt – Liberty, or Lack Thereof

Give me liberty, or give me death.

~ Patrick Henry

Loss of liberty (or freedom) isn’t always an issue of being dominated by someone (or something) else, such as being bound in chains, or incarcerated in a cell, or being subject to some governmental curfew.

Sometimes it’s about danger, or embarrassment.

The main character in my novel work-in-progress has had her liberty curtailed. Not only is she being hunted down by demons, but she has been bitten by one, causing deeply horrible changes in her appearance.

So while she’s not literally bound in chains, she fears for her life if she goes outside (and so stays in as much as she can), but she’s also partially disfigured — which embarrasses her. So, whenever she goes out, she covers up.

Oh, give me liberty! For even were paradise my prison, still I should long to leap the crystal walls.

~ John Dryden

Sometimes our desires bind us.

Have you ever worked at a job which you absolutely hated? But did it for the money? There’s always a choice to live with less, and yet…

A day, an hour of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity of bondage.

~ Joseph Addison

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write about someone who’s physical liberty has been taken away by incarceration, kidnapping, bondage or curfew.
  • Here’s a specific example: write about a group of people who are suddenly under martial law. The law restricts their movements in certain parts of town and requires that they return to their homes before dark.
  • Write a journal or diary entry about a time you felt you’d lost your liberties.
  • Write several stanzas of haiku about liberty (or freedom, if you need to watch your syllables).
  • Put yourself in the place of the villain: the person kidnapping or incarcerating someone else. Write about why you might do this, and how you might keep control of the situation.

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