Here’s an 8-sentence excerpt from my flash fiction story, The Mountain Prison. It’s currently waiting for me to get off my butt and start submitting it.
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– 8-sentenc snippet from The Mountain Prison –
He’ll come back for me. I know he will. He wouldn’t leave me here.
I can’t move. I can’t breathe. There are too many people. Some have shown a preference for a quick death to escape the slow wasting away from starvation.
– End of Snippet –
It’s hard picking 8 sentences from flash fiction. It’s all so condensed already. And any 8 sentences from this particular one don’t hold up well on their own. They all sounded weird for me. That last sentence in particular is too long when I take those sentences out of context. It doesn’t fit. But oh well.
Writing prompts are a great way to get new ideas for stories. They can widen your horizons and help you break out of your box. There are times when I’m feeling brave and will try new kinds of writing. Genres that I don’t normally try like sci-fi or real life, poetry, different styles of writing, different POVs, etc.
It doesn’t usually happen because most of the time I’m just trying to get through my own editing process or writing down ideas I get from interesting dreams, but it has been known to happen. In fact, I’m currently sitting on a sci-fi story that I was told would work better as a novella instead of a short story. Needless to say, that’s a lot more effort than I’m willing to currently put into a genre that doesn’t come naturally to me so I’m sitting on it.
Now, what is a writing prompt? I believe I addressed this in a previous post but I’ll go over it again because they can be fun and helpful. A writing prompt can be anything from a few words to a whole sentence. It’s just something that plants an idea in your head and gives you something to start your writing. Mine usually start with a word and then end up continuing to a whole idea as my brain delves into the possibilities.
Here are a few examples:
- Lethal spider flowers
- A girl’s transformation begins with a simple, white skirt (provided by HL Henrikson)
- Camera steals souls (that one might’ve been provided by HL Henrikson as well)
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take one or some of the following (or previous) writing prompts and make a story out of it/them. It can be as long as you want or as short as you want and in any style or form you want. This writing exercise is only to help generate ideas in your head.
- Genetic mutation
- Poison as a weapon
- Costumes that become part of people when worn at certain times
- Talking birds
- A priest learns something he shouldn’t
- Leprechauns trick a woman thereby trapping her in their realm
- Runner loses a leg
- People are born with wings/tail/some other animal trait
- Interview with a snake
- Camper meets the wendigo
- The afterlife is not what we expect
- Stars are living, breathing beings
- A child adopts a 2-headed puppy
- Mice rule the world
- The eyes are the windows to the soul
How do you get ideas for stories? Do you ever use writing prompts to help kick start your imagination?
Like a vacuum cleaner!
I’ve finally gotten my butt in gear and started editing my manuscript again. I wanted to read over the first two chapters again and edit a printed copy but I wasn’t making any progress with that so I shrugged my shoulders and moved on with my life. The copies are there for when I need to look over them later.
I was quite industrious for 20 minutes before a raging sinus headache won out and I lost all energy and motivation to do anything but breathe. I don’t think I’ve had a sinus headache that bad in forever! Honestly, I don’t remember the last time I’ve had one so bad.
It’s because my brains have been stuffed into my sinus cavity. They sit there waiting, not even leaking really, just waiting until I get tired of the pressure and blow my nose. Then it’s a never-ending task of blowing out a river of mucus. It’s so nasty. Infected too which probably accounts for the pain in my sinuses.
I wonder if that connection between the infection and the headache is true. Sounds good to me.
It’s better today at any rate. So I get back to my editing and still have page 31 out of 214 staring me in the face.
Out of 214.
And I plan on adding quite a bit more.
Sigh. Editing sucks. Fitness is so much easier. I can train for and finish a 5k race in less time than it takes me to edit my entire manuscript.
*NOTE: Currently on page 36 after nearly an hour and a half editing yesterday. There was a lot to change. I’m just happy I lasted that long.*
I’ve given this one before but it’s a good thing to do so I’ll give it again considering today’s topic. Are you currently writing something? If so, go back and edit what you’ve written so far. Aim for 15-30 minutes.