Sometimes I want to write, but I don’t have a great idea or I’m not in the mood to write something grand and perfect. I just want to write something. When I was working on my novel draft, I was writing 1500 words a day, and afterwards, I felt like a better writer than before. I learned to be in the habit of just sitting down and getting to it and worrying later.
I felt like I could do the same thing with writing prompts. I scoured the web, and a lot of what I found felt more like writing exercises than prompts– I wanted something to run with and retreat into a brief, if perhaps hastily formed, fictional realm.
So I decided I can make up my own writing prompts.
On different days, I can focus on different aspects of writing–beautiful language, or character development, or world-building, or economy of words, or plain weirdness. And I end up with a couple hundred words I can take and mold into something better, or that I can chuck. I do them on a timer, so far of 5-7 minutes, so I can fit them into any day, no matter how hectic.
Unlike fiction I intend to publish, I can share this with others through the blog. I’d love to see what others do with the prompts too. Just link me so I can enjoy it too.
Today’s 7 minute prompt is “The Child yelled at the monkey”. I’ve posted mine below, for your pleasure. I will post these at noon on Thursdays. (Edited only to remove several horrific typos!)
The child yelled at the monkey, and waved his doughy arms about. I looked around for this tiny miscreant’s guardian. About twenty feet away stood a man, thoroughly absorbed by his hand held electronic device. I watched smugly from my bench, safely out of the radius of any potential mayhem, eating a frozen lemon sorbet. The child’s taunts increased, and so too did the monkey’s rage. This culminated finally in the flinging of certain odoriferous weapons. The many-creased child shrieked and fled. The wayward father scolded him. I smiled slightly. Then the monkey looked me sternly in the eye. I didn’t think it could throw this far, but perhaps I ought to go elsewhere.
I wandered on, and again observed the husky child, his bright yellow shirt now tarnished with certain unpleasant organics. This time he leaned over the tiger pit. He waved, like he had at the monkey. The tigers roared and the air seemed to quaver. Maybe the child had a talent for enraging beasts. Again, the father didn’t seem to notice. He was certainly inattentive, but perhaps the rage of animals around his child simply wasn’t abnormal. Curious, I decided to stalk them a little. Every animal seemed incensed by the existence of this child; the polar bears, the penguins, the giraffes, even the turtles. I had read papers proposing ESP, a sort of ability to read emotions and probabilities. Maybe this kid had a sort of Extrasensory Irritation Factor. I had to admit, upon examination, that watching the kid made my blood boil slightly, and watching the animals hate him was exciting. Perhaps his father could only bear his presence by so dedicatedly ignoring him.