Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May's Writing Prompt: Locked In

Earlier this month, I promised monthly writing prompts on my Amazing Stories blog page.

When I promise, I deliver.

You are alone in a house. It can be a nice house, an old Victorian perhaps, or even a spacious Southern mansion. It can also be a small house, maybe a bungalow, or – to be drastic for a moment – a broken-down hovel only moments away from being collapsed by a strong wind. It can be a castle… but would it be a functioning place of government or drafty ruins?

The commonality in these scenarios is that, for some reason, you have no desire to ever leave.

The purpose behind writing prompts is, at least to me, more like the purpose behind math problems than it is the purpose behind most fiction writing. There's so much to explore. It's an analytical exercise. I use nine questions in my prompts as examples of where a writer can go: three for setting, three for character(s), and three for plot. Much like my synopsis-style April prompt Lifeforce Expired, which will also appear as a fictional movie* in a book I'm editing now,** I bring prompts that delve through topics that speculate about the way our world is and could be.

If you were in that situation, what would you do?

*A fictional movie: it's a thing. It's a movie fictional characters discuss seeing that doesn't actually exist but that exists for the purposes of the fictional work in which it appears. A good example is the movie Prognosis Negative from Seinfeld.

**One of my favourite things to do is invent fictional culture. Everything from books to movie to advertisements that we don't see in our world but that could plausibly exist, exists in what I write. Think of it as the arts/social sciences/business version of the gadgets employed in some science-fiction books.

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