It may seem like an easy to answer question but for most writer’s it is a multi faceted one. I have answered with:
Word or picture prompts
Overheard snippets of conversation
An idea popped into my head randomly
A personal interest
A topic of conversation
A couple of examples:
My children’s picture book, Rumble’s First Scare was a Halloween prompt, which I turned upside down. It is the monster’s point of view of Halloween and his first scare adventure with his Mum.
The Rython Kingdom began as a series of prompts that gelled together to form a story by pure chance.
It is not so clear cut as these to be honest but it helps a non-writer understand the creativity side of our brains a little easier.
I presented a workshop on how to formulate an idea into a novel at the WFSC writer’s conference in the spring. From that initial spark to compiling a story line/arc, creating a plot arc, introducing characters, and finding the correct conclusion for the genre. It was a fun experience.
Your prompt today is to use these words in a short story or poem – octopus, surrender, bright
Have fun! My story is below.
With a deep breath, I plunged into the bright blue ocean. The water felt cool against my skin, refreshing after the heat of the Caribbean sun. Goggles and snorkel tightly strapped to my head, I gazed at the beautiful corral and brightly coloured fish swimming in all directions away from me. Careful to swim slowly and keep the top of my snorkel above the water, I rounded an outcrop of rock to find a steep drop ahead. The pale seawater around me descended into a dark hole dropping into unknown depths. What lay within those dark waters? I had promised to keep to the shallows but the temptation was too much. Just a quick look would be all right, surely?
I surfaced to look toward the beach and locate my parents. They were lying on beach loungers, enjoying cocktails under the palm trees. Too busy to notice their son swimming beyond the corral reef, identified as his limit. Breathing in and out several times, I filled my lungs to bursting, having no idea how long I would have to swim downwards. Using strong strokes I descended quickly into the gloom. Shimmering lines of light highlighted more brightly adored fish and corral at first then it became darker and colder.
My lungs were beginning to complain when I saw a long tentacle grab a small fish. An octopus! Wow, now I did have to keep going. What if I could catch it? As I turned, an undulating mass rose from the rock ahead of me. It was changing colour from deep brown to pinkish beige as it swam upwards. Following closely, I anticipated its direction and quickly held three of its tentacles, swimming to the surface in a rush as my head was becoming dizzy. Gasping for air while holding my captive tightly, I did not have enough breath to call out to my Dad.
A tentacle wrapped around my arm while another found my throat and began to squeeze. That’s not good. I slid a hand between a couple of suckers and my neck and pushed with all my strength. For a small animal it sure was strong. I needed to grab all the tentacles then it would surely surrender. I only wanted to show Dad then I would let it go.
A couple of tentacles wrapped around my right thigh making treading water difficult. I just needed to get to the shallows then I could walk and shout to my Mum and Dad. A mouthful of water made me cough and swallow more. Spots burst in front of my eyes. I was sinking. Kicking as furiously as I could with my left leg I surfaced for a moment and gasped for air. I had to get this thing off me or I would be the one surrendering.
“All right, lad?”
It was a strangers voice behind me. I turned my head as far as I could to plead for help. The tentacle around my throat was too tight for me to speak now.
“Let’s get him off you, shall we?”
A slight nod from me was enough for the man to pull at the octopus and release my neck from its grip. Next he wrestled the tentacles around my leg and then I was free. The last I saw of that octopus was its tentacles flying through the air before plunging into the depths.
“Thank you so much. Thought I would drown.”
“Have to be careful out here, young man. Keep to the shallows and you should be all right.”
I held out my hand to the stranger. He smiled and gave it a firm shake.
“You bet. Thanks again.”
I didn’t relay my story to my parents until a few days later when we were on the flight home. I knew they would have forbidden me to go in the ocean otherwise. Although, I did heed the stranger’s advice and kept to the shallows for the rest of our stay.
I would love to read your story/poem – why not share in the comments?
My regular monthly writers meeting is on Tuesday evening. It is always different as we never know how many members and visitors will attend – new faces arrive all the time. After introductions we announce future events and encourage submissions for our newsletter, the Canada 150 book project we have scheduled this year and use of prompts on our website calendar. http://www.wfscsherwoodpark.com
I organize a prompt exercise to start the evening or on request plan a presentation on a particular subject regarding writing. Then we share and discuss current work in progress. Our mandate is constructive critique and acceptance of everyone’s individual style.
The second event is an open mic at a local cafe, Common Ground Cafe hosted by our current Writer in Residence. As I missed the last reading due to ill health I hope to attend.
8th March – 7 pm to 8.30 pm – all welcome whether reading or listening!
Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival is a celebration of diverse Canadian writers and artists presented by Room magazine.
The festival runs March 8th – 12th, 2017 at various locations in Vancouver, BC.
The festival features 50 writers and artists in more than 20 events over 4 days. Among the line-up are acclaimed writers Amber Dawn, Evelyn Lau, Lorna Crozier, Audrey Thomas, Jen Sookfong Lee, Hiromi Goto, Betsy Warland, and Rachel Hartman, who’ll share the stage with a host of other established and up-and-coming names.
It’s here – FRIDAY – the day we all wish for all week long. Our mood gradually becomes lighter as the weekdays past and the countdown begins to the freedom of Saturday and Sunday. Obviously, some people have other days off during the week but their feelings are exactly the same for whichever day their ‘Friday’ is. So celebrate today and enjoy your weekend.
I wrote a poem to celebrate Friday – I hope you like it.
You are precious in your promise
Your sunrise heralds relaxation pending
Thoughts of lie-ins and a drink or two abound
Co-workers smile today, pressures reduced
Friday – you are the golden day of the week
Your evening begins two days of fun and activities
Thank you Friday for your promise
We love you.
For today’s prompt why not share your ode to Friday?
An interesting news link regarding authors championing book stores. This campaign should be a global scheme. If I was still in the UK, I would certainly be joining in. How about you?
With a unique style of language and her tenacity in submitting her work for nearly ten years, Eimear has now been recognized for her ‘hurtling, comma-free voice of an unnamed narrator.’ Interestingly, although the book has won praise from literary critics, it has the lowest Amazon star rating.
Is there a lesson here? Should we not be so focused on ‘ratings’?
As a multi-genre author, I delve into all types of writing – it is part of my journey. Here are a couple of quotes reflecting that:
So what shall we do as a prompt? How about you create your own writing inspired quote?