[Prompt] May 12 – Other Than Human

WRITE ABOUT A NON-HUMAN CHARACTER

Can you write a non-human character without making it react like a human? How would a table/tree/robot/alien think? How would it speak? How would it react compared to the reactions of someone born and raised in the West in the 21st Century?

Can you write a truly non-human character?

Go!

[Write On Wednesday] Trapped

The Write On Wednesday story prompts are designed to prompt quickly-written stories that you can share in the comments. It’s a warm-up exercise, to loosen up your creativity muscles. Come back every Wednesday to see a new prompt.

If you’d like more accountability, support and structure as you warm up your writing for StoryADay May 2012, why not join the Warm-Up Writing Course?  Click here for details.


This week’s prompt was conceived as a character study, but the more I think about it, I realise it can focus on descriptive writing, point of view, or almost anything!

The Prompt – Trapped

Trapped #1
“Trapped #1” by Waltimo

Write a story where the main (or only) character is trapped, literally or figuratively.

Literal traps can be prisons, a locked room, the side of a mountain, inside an alien spaceship, a bear trap, a maze, anything you can imagine!   (Personally, I’d love to see someone write a claustrophobic locked-in-a-box story with only one character, and see how you manage to sustain that — great opportunity for character and description!)

Figurative traps could be anything from a bad marriage to con and could be a fairly conventional short story that lets you work on your dialogue or plotting.

What will you write?

Tips

  • Don’t worry about your audience and who might read it
  • Make sure your story travels from start to end: don’t just write a scene, make someone or something change between the first word and the last.

The Rules:

  1. You should use the prompt in your story (however tenuous the connection).
  2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my short story: Trapped  #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-pA

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is a cool old map! #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-pA

Come and write with us: Trapped! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-pA

See my story – and write your own, today: Trapped! #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://wp.me/p1PnSG-pA

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.

[Write On Wednesday] Story Sparks

“Where do you get your ideas?”

Every established writer has a tale to tell about being asked that question.

Some of them lie and tell people they order them from an Idea store. Some wearily answer that they think really hard until the ideas come. Still others joyfully shout that ideas are everywhere, what are you crazy? Don’t you see them?!

The truth is, the more you look for ideas, the more you’ll see them. But you do have to look

The Prompt

This week’s prompt is not a writing prompt, but a prompt-prompt. This week you’re going to look for Story Sparks.

book with sparks in glasses photo by Julie Duffy

We’re just over a month away from StoryADay May. You’re going to need at least 31 ideas (more in case a few don’t work out).  I’m not talking about outlining your stories, or even coming  up with great ideas, just about writing a list of sparks for stories, or places you can find those sparks.

Ray Bradbury in Zen In The Art of Writing, talks about one method of gathering what I’ve come to think of as “story sparks”:

“I began to gather long lists of titles, to put down long lines of nouns. These nouns were provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface.”

Today, set a timer for as long as you can manage (ten minutes? 20? Half an hour?) and then use that time to write down as many Story Sparks as you can.

Write down:

  • Lists of nouns (things that scare you, matter to you, frustrate you)
  • Your favorite colorful metaphors. (Consider them as titles for a story)
  • Aphorisms you can play with (“See No Evil” “A Bird In The Hand”)
  • The names of the weirdest people you have met in your life (or a quick description if you can’t remember their real names)
  • Lyrics and lines from poetry that have stuck in your brain for years
  • The titles of your favorite artworks
  • The most striking places you’ve visited (potential settings)
  • Historical tidbits you’ve learned on trips (or in your own town)

Extra Credit

Capture three more story sparks every day for the next week: eavesdrop, read obituaries, browse the front page of Wikipedia, bookmark quirky photographs, read poetry, delve into medical textbooks, looks, listen, smell, breathe in the world around you. Capture three sparks from all that living you do every day.

Need a way to capture sparks?
Download three printable logs now!


Share in the comments a source of story sparks that you discovered or found most productive.

Need more help? Get the ebook that grew out of this article: Breaking Writers’ Block, A StoryADay Guide

[Daily Prompt] May 30 – The Lake At Dusk

Daily Prompt LogoToday’s prompt is a stanza from “The Lake At Dusk” by Robin Robertson (from Swithering, Harcourt 2006)


 


Rinsed after the rain,

The forest is triggered and tripwired;

When I pause for a bird call

The silence takes time

To reassemble around me

Like a dream retrieved.

 

 

No-one will find me here.

 


Go!

[Daily Prompt] May 27 – Graduation

It’s that time of year again.

I spent the evening watching my kindergartener receive a certificate and getting ready to move into First Grade. He’s already been at the same school for three years, and is moving on to…the same school, but next time in 1st Grade.

Still, it was an ending, a moment of transition, a biggish deal (mainly because the grown-ups made it that way).

So today’s prompt is:

Write a story that contains a transition, an ending or a new beginning.

Go!