Monday, March 14, 2011

Prompt and also Right on Time

The class that I am currently taking focuses on flash fiction, usually 1000 words or less. We get a prompt or two to choose from each week, usually a particular writing technique to follow, like writing the story backwards or focusing on color, etc. along with an example of that style. I have written some pretty amazing things from a few of these prompts, things I would never have dreamt of writing without them.

As a newish writer I was previously under the impression that it was up to me to summon the magic completely from thin air. This is fine and dandy when you have a story idea in mind, but insurmountably depressing when you do not. So back then, I would sit at the keyboard and hope. Hope does not float. Hope sinks.

It turns out that writing prompts are commonly used within story writing circles, and having a place to start has been, for me, transformative. I've written shape shifters, stories that begin at the end, and the color red. I've written an old tale in a new way and even a love story. Best of all, the prompts have really helped me to be able to sit down and write, which is way more fun than sitting down and not writing.

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