Simple task today (ha!):
Write a story that opens, “On the edge of the mountain, silhouetted against the setting sun, there is a small ramshackle cottage made of wood.”
- This sounds, at first blush, as if it has to be set in a fantasy or fairy-tale world, but I bet you can turn it around to fit the setting you’re most comfortable with
- Prompts like this can be really effective because of the constraints they place on us; constraints that force us to reject the first idea we have and go digging for something better, twistier, more ‘me’.
- If you really want to, you can dismiss this pretty quickly with comic effect (“but that’s part of a different story”) or you could refer to it but move your characters away to the city (or space) if that’s more to your taste.
- Or you can write a story that fits this opening line perfectly. And I am still willing to bet money that no two stories written from this prompt will sound alike.
- In case you haven’t guessed yet, this is an exercise in proving to you that your writing voice is unique and even writing to a shared prompt, you needn’t worry too much about trying to write something original. Write from your heart, your experiences, your truth and your concerns, and you can’t help but be original.