[Writing Prompt] The Little Old Lady

Today we’re concentrating on a character: in particular the kind of person who would have been known to me, when I was a child, as “a little old lady”.

CL Society 208: Old lady shopping

The Prompt

Write a story featuring a little old lady

Tips

  • Remember, in the days before hair dye and facial peels and gym memberships and HRT—in the days of hard physical labor from dawn to dusk—being a ‘little old lady’ could start at any age from your mid-forties! Those days were NOT that long ago…
  • Feel free to use your little old lady to play to type (cast her as a fairytale witch or a helpless old woman) or against type (have her, I don’t know, swimming from Florida to Cuba without a shark cage…).
  • The interesting part of this story is going to be perhaps less about how this character changes, and more about how our perception/expectations as readers are changed during the story.

Go!

[Writing Prompt] The Fair

Today you’re going to rely on memory to conjure up a vivid setting for your story.
We went to the Kimberton Fair

The Prompt

Tell a story set at a country fair

Tips

  • Use all your senses to place us at the fair, right at the start of the story
  • Paint a picture and include a character walking through that setting, his/her mind set on doing something (winning a prize perhaps? Meeting a particular someone in a particular place?).
  • Hint that there might be more to their desire than can be simply explained (he wants to be a big shot at the coconut shy; she wants to meet a boy). No, there is a deeper reason they want to do the thing they’re pursuing as we, the reader join them.
  • After you have squarely painted the fair scene for us, transition away from providing many details of the fair, and instead concentrate more on character.
  • Don’t forget to bring in something from your setting, near the end, to bring the reader full circle.

Yes, it sounds formulaic, but remember:

  1. It’s only an exercise and
  2. I’ll award a big fluffy panda to anyone who ends up writing something exactly like that of another StoryADay writer, by accident just because you’re using a formula!

Go!