Monday, January 25, 2016

Writing Prompt Challenge

I am a member of a writing group that meets the first Thursday every month in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania and one of the challenges at each meeting is the leader gives us a writing prompt and 15 minutes to show our creativity. Below are the three last prompts we were given.

Some writers may not enjoy the exercise, but writing is like a muscle. The more you use it, and the more you use it in different ways, the better you become.

September 2015 Writing Prompt: Write a segment completely in inner dialogue.

How do I tell her she has something green between her teeth? That is so...awful! I can't concentrate on a word she's saying.

Is that spinach? Cauliflower? I have to look away. No. That might give the impression I'm bored with what she's saying.

How do I work toothpaste into the conversation? Maybe mention toothpicks? What is she talking about anyway? All I see is that green stuff between her teeth. I have to set a good first impression, but I don't know what to do! It's the visual equivalent of being hit by a crowbar.

That reminds me. I wanted to paint the bathroom green. What shade of green is that between her teeth? Do they call that Kelly Green? Irish? What in the world is she talking about?

November 2015 Writing Prompt: Describe the word 'sparkle' to a person who is blind.

"Describe the word, sparkle? Now there, my dear, is a challenge for even the most verbally gifted. Let's see if I am up the challenge.

"Imagine champagne on the tongue, the way it bubbles and tickles. Sparkling is to sight what sparkling wine is to the taste.

"Call to mind the physical sensation of petting your cat on a cold winter day and feeling the static electricity dance over your fingers. Sparkling is to the eyes what those little tickling stings are to your skin.

"And the sound of a crackling fire? Sparkling is to the eyes what those little pops and snaps are to the ear."

She slowly twirled her white cane between her fingers, contemplating. "So," she asked, "sparkling is pleasurable?"

"Yes," he responded, "and so much sparkles in this world everybody can enjoy the miracle."

January, 2016 Writing Prompt: give voice to an inanimate object

The Japanese have a belief that after 100 years, every inanimate object on its 100th birthday becomes alive and self-aware. They even have a name for the belief: Tsukumogami.

I had my birth well over a century ago, built in the Neo-Victorian style during the Industrial Revolution of the United States and since then I have stood proud and tall on East Hill Street in Boston. Since my awakening some decades ago, I have passively watched the drama of those who dwell within my walls. I have shared their joys, their sorrows, and I have also heard their secrets.

And in my way, I speak to them in their barely-remembered dreams.

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