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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Writing Prompt

As a group, we authors are a unique bunch. I have no fear in sharing my latest book idea with my critique partners as it would never be the same in the hands of these creative types. Mine would remain fingerprinted as my own just as each of theirs would be indelibly thus identified.

So, from my brainstorming stash of various words and ideas that stir my imagination, here's just three to churn up a new tale at best or an enjoyable exercise at worst. Have fun with this, people. Whether you like to mind map on teal legal pad pages with glittery crayons or via a computer, or prefer verbal sessions with your writing buddies, or need to stare out the window into your backyard as the tumblers fall into place, get started.

Take this trio and use it to generate a flash fiction story of ~250 WC (about one double-spaced page) using all the necessary plot points to carry you through the three-act process.

  • Play "Somewhere Down the Crazy River" by Robbie Robertson or "Bright Lights" by Gary Clark Jr. or your choice of music to set the proper mood for that elusive piece that is still floating around in your subconscious but wanting to become physical, tangible, evident in print. Or, if you are more visually oriented, check out Pinterest for destinations or homes or famous people or whatever you desire. Don't get lost over there. Remember to come back here. Ha!
  • Make a list of your top ten button-pushing issues, like: bullies, manipulators, people who abuse power, uninvited solicitors who bother you while you are trying to work from home, people who refuse to listen to you or don't respect you and your decisions. Choose the one that fires you up the most, which should give you plenty to say.
  • For this particular project, pick one word from these offerings: toady, nimiety, sozzled, yarborough, oeillade (or one of your own choosing, but make it seemingly unrelated to either of the above).
Now prepare to stretch that gray matter. Set your timer for fifteen minutes and create a composition with valid motivation of (un)likable characters. Continue nonstop, even if you have to write How can I make this work? until something jars you out of your stupor. If you are fast enough, reveal it one way and then the second time go in an opposite direction, as in the good girl and bad girl viewpoints.

And to reiterate my opening paragraph of this post, as many people as do this homework assignment, there are as many variations of same. My fantasy CP will no doubt create a work of wonder, while my shockingly strange-yet-funny horror-writing CP will twist hers into something surprising. Mine will have a happy ending with the good guys winning as justice and fair play prevail in the end.

If this first draft works for you, use it as an outline for a longer book. If not, add this attempt to your scrap paper box.

Now get ready to do one of your own. Pick your three personalized writing prompts. Go!

"If your vocation isn’t a vacation, then quit, leap, change careers."

Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)

What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. Ralph Waldo Emerson
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue.  You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra

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