Monday, August 18, 2008

Prescription for Writing: One-a-Day Prompts

Last week, I mentioned the idea of writing prompts. Like exercising your body to keep in shape, using writing prompts -- a 5 to 10 minute exercise done each day -- keeps your writing in shape. We all know how difficult it is -- not to mention the excuses we find -- to write on a regular basis. Work schedules, family, writer's block, that closet you keep promising to clean ... the list goes on. So, this is what you are going to do. You are going to come up with, say, 20 to 30 writing prompts (you will see my example below), put them in an envelope and, along with a writing pad, keep them in a place you go to in the morning ... your desk, a nightstand, whatever works. Each morning (okay, I'm trying to be optimistic here!) take a prompt from the envelope and grab your pen and paper. Write for at least 5 minutes. Don't stop to think, pause to contemplate, scratch out or erase to change and edit. The idea is almost aerobic; you keep writing impromptu. No exceptions. That is your warm-up for the day, because now you're supposed to continue with your serious writing projects. Right? Well, at least tackle the prompt, please. You will thank me for it later. Promise.

So, let's try one together. What I am hoping will result is a potpourri of responses, i.e. some pretty damn good creative writing. You be the author and create what comes next. Who know's? Maybe one of you will finish it into a story, sell it to a major magazine, or even a best-selling novel, and become famous! Hey, I told you I'm an optimist. Okay, now for the prompt:

He pointed a gun at me with a warning to stay quiet. I wasn't about to argue....

You take it from there, people. And have fun!


_-*Kristen*-_ said...

He pointed a gun at me with a warning to stay quiet. I wasn't about to argue....

I wasn't even sure what he wanted. He just popped out of nowhere and told me to stay quiet. I heard sirens in the distance, probably coming for him. "Come on." he said gruffily. "Where's your car?" I took him to my old eclipse and opened my purse.

He cocked the gun. "I'm just getting my keys." I said shakily. He nodded his head for me to continue and kept a close eye on the contents of my purse as I rummaged around in it. I grabbed my keys, and unlocked the door, he kept the cocked gun pointed at my head as he shuffled around to my front.

"Hand over the keys." I looked at him and then at my beautiful car. I didn't want to leave it in the hands of this lunatic. "GIVE ME YOUR KEYS!" he yelled at me. Quickly I handed the keys over to him, and he got into the car keeping the gun pointed at me through the window. I watched as he cranked my car and drove away.

I called the cops on the nearest payphone and told them what happened. Minutes later a police car came and picked me up, and drove me to the police station where I reported my stolen car. As I did this, there was a tv in the room I was filling out the report in. It was on the late night news, and showing a high speed chase involving... MY CAR!

The cops were closing in on him, and he was driving recklessley. Probably going to wreck my favorite car of all time. My eyes were transfixed to the screen and I watched as the man crashed into many vechicles, denting it's beautiful frame. He veered off of the road and into a tree. I screamed. How am I going to live without that car? It was the best one that I ever owned.

A few weeks later, the insurance pay off came in. And you know what I got? A 2008 Ford Mustang.

I think you have a great idea here. I know I will be back.

The Stranger said...

He pointed a gun at me with a warning to stay quiet. I wasn't about to argue, seeing he didn't know I was mute. I looked at his weapon, a cheap semi-automatic pistol with a nine bullet clip and decided it was too risky to catch him off guard when he was still seven feet away.

I waited for him to speak or move, but he appeared to be thinking about something so I just stood there. He quickly stole a glance at his watch and decided it was time, "Get against the wall." He said commandingly. When I had complied he frisked me and took out my wallet.

I was amused because he also didn't know I was a student, and had no money. I heard him curse when he found this out and I could almost hear him reading the note in my wallet describing me as mute.

"Turn around." He ordered me, and I did. He threw my wallet at my feet and told me to leave and forget I ever saw him. When I arrived at my apartment I wrote a detailed description of the encounter fully intending it to get into the hands of the police. That is when I heard a gun being cocked immediately behind me.

The mugger, now stalker, was smiling sickly at me. He was directly behind me and I felt the gun pressed against my shoulder. The entire evening had been a sequence of things the criminal didn't know, he hadn't known I was mute, he hadn't known I was broke, and he also didn't know I had a black belt in Haku Ryu Ju-jitsu. I dropped instantly, grabbed his gun hand at his wrist, and disarmed him in a single and simple move.

I held him in submission while I waited for my roomate to arrive. He was always late too.

teacherwriter said...

Thank you, Kristen and The Stranger for your stories! Edgy, as well as humorous. I appreciate your contributions.