Day 14 – Caroline Kim Conjures Ghosts

Caroline Kim Writing Prompt

The Prompt

Your character is doing something innocuous and habitual like washing dishes or driving in a car or picking up dry cleaning or taking a walk in the neighborhood when a ghost/spirit appears to them. Whether it is human, animal, or other, what is it saying and why has it appeared to the character at this moment?

(This is good for dredging up something from the character’s subconscious and also for throwing your character off track with something unexpected.)

The Author

CAROLINE KIM was born in Busan, South Korea but moved to America at an early age. She has lived on the East Coast, Midwest, and Texas but now makes her home in Northern California with her family.

Her poetry and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in TriQuarterly, The Rumpus, Pleiades, Porter House Review, MANOA, The Michigan Quarterly Review, Spinning Jenny, Meridian, Faultline, Pidgeonholes, Cosmonaut’s Avenue, Ms. Aligned 3, and elsewhere. Her collection of short stories, The Prince of Mournful Thoughts and Other Stories, won the 2020 Drue Heinz Literature Prize and was longlisted for the 2021 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.

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Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

9 thoughts on “Day 14 – Caroline Kim Conjures Ghosts”

  1. I wrote about Flora busy rotating her mother’s succulents. She imagines she hears her dead mom’s voice and closes her eyes. She feels her mom’s touch and her last words of farewell as she advises Flora to move out of the house and forget about the succulents because ‘danger is coming’ for her.

  2. This prompt really focused my mind. In my novel my protagonist has lost her twin brother in a car accident and I have already written about her imagining that he is giving her messages of help from time to time. This prompt made me consider him appearing and once I started it really flowed. I intend to make it echo an incident from generations back which will help rid the family of a century or more of shame.

  3. Didn’t finish this one until this morning. But I did it! Today’s prompt will likely be late as well; hubby and I are celebrating our anniversary this weekend.

    My ghost is a twin who dies in utero while the other twin survives until birth, to die shortly afterward. The first twin lingers as a ghost, waiting for her sister to join her in the afterlife. The story is told from the POV of the father.

    1. You can but remember that if you do, they will count as having been published and you won’t be able to submit them anywhere that only accepts “unpublished” works.

      1. Also, you might want to consider whether the thought of making it public will slow you down as you edit to make it ready for public consumption.

        Some people like the freedom of knowing no one will see their first drafts. During this challenge that freedom can help you experiment.

        I recommend coming back and leaving a comment to celebrate that you’ve written, but not necessarily sharing the story.

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