Friday, July 30th, 2010

Writing Prompt: Fighting the Wind

Pelican by Kelly A. Harmon

I took a lot of photos while I was away…more than 500, actually. That’s the beauty (and the horror!) of owning a digital camera. Over the next few days I’ll be reviewing those for only the best and discarding the others. With a little luck, I’ll reduce them to a hundred or less.

One of my favorite vacation pics is of these pelicans.

On the seashore, the wind never quit. There were days we couldn’t open the umbrellas for fear of seeing them launched. On those days, the pelicans (and other seabirds) had trouble flying.

Because of the wind, they couldn’t spend time doing what it is they normally do: soaring over the ocean looking for food and diving in after it. Instead, they flew over the beach houses, quite low, in fact, looking for a means to get back to sea.

On more than one occasion, the birds barely missed flying under the covered porch I sat on, hence the up close and personal pelican pics.

Poor birds! They went days without getting a meal.

Here’s your prompt: Write a story about someone unable to accomplish a goal due to something as innocuous as the wind. Make sure the stakes are high: these pelicans couldn’t eat for days because the wind kept them ashore. Choose something equally important to your main character. What actions does your protagonist take to try to circumvent the problem? How does he feel about being thwarted by something inanimate? Is he angry? Frustrated? Both? How is the problem finally resolved? In order to have a satisfying ending, make certain it’s your protagonist who finds a solution to his dilemma (and not that the problem goes away on its own).

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