Write when prompted

by Lorin Michel Friday, May 8, 2015 10:22 PM

One of the pages I follow on Facebook is The Writer’s Circle, for obvious reasons. They post daily inspirations and funny anecdotes, information about other writer’s and more. I rarely comment or post but I do very much enjoy it.

They often post writer’s prompts. It’s actually kind of a cool way to jumpstart creativity. A writer’s prompt is just like it sounds. It’s creating the beginnings of a scenario; it’s giving a sentence to finish; it’s urging someone to write the next paragraph.

Several years ago, for Bobbi’s 50th birthday, we started writing a short story that would have 50 paragraphs, each with 50 words. We did it daily and it was a great and creative way to start every morning. We started it with my prompt which was this:

Below, fog was thick and ghostly under the moon. He could hear the water as he leaned out, grasping the slippery cable behind him. The rain hit his face and he snatched at it with his tongue, laughing into the darkness, into the cold, as he shouted, “I am—

Today, on The Writer’s Circle, the prompt was this: “You’ve been lost for days. This is the only house for miles. What do you do?” The picture was of an unkempt house, neglected. Perhaps scary, perhaps simply run-down.

For kicks, I decided to write something.

It had appeared in the distance, a beacon, welcoming. A sanctuary promising shelter from the coming rain. But as she approached, she felt an increasing apprehension. The paint was peeling, part of the roof appeared to be caved in. Wild vines grew up the side. There was an eerie sense of calm about this decaying place, and something seemed wrong. Was it the fact that all of the windows appeared to be in tact and clean? Or perhaps it was the image of another, watching from the dormer. She shivered in the warmth of the day and was about to turn back when the image waved and beckoned her inside. She walked forward to the door and stopped in the threshold, her hand on the splintered handle.

It wasn’t great, but it was fun. And even better, it was a wonderful way to start off my day. It made me think differently. It got me out of my head, out of my many email programs, off the internet. It made me feel creative, even though it was kind of schlocky.

I brought up the 50 words, 50 paragraphs thing to Bobbi today, along with the other prompt I did. I mentioned how fun it was and she said we should do it again. We write well together, Bobbi and I. Unfortunately, we do it rarely because we both have so many things going on. But 50 words every other day is doable. It will be fun. We bought a domain today and we’re going to post directly online.

Stay tuned.

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