Monday, December 31, 2012

Writing Prompts

I was reading an interview of an author whose work I enjoy and the interviewer got to that question that has probably been asked of every creator of fiction since Oog the Caveman told his first story: "Where do you get your ideas?"
And, like so many others who have answered the question, the author replied that inspiration is all around us. A writer never knows when something will spark his or her imagination, but it could be just about anything.
To that end, I've been looking out the window while sitting at the computer and a variety of things have happened on the street over the past hour. For those who are inclined to write (especially those former CTY students of mine who I've encouraged to practice their craft regularly), here is some inspiration. Call it a different kind of "writer's block."

  Two boys, about twelve years old, walk past the house. One carries a football; the other has a broken half of a slat from a picket fence. What game / mischief will ensue?

  A man on a bicycle, bundled up because it is only 37 degrees outside, has the gears set so that he is pedaling furiously, yet not moving very fast. Why? Is this more of an exercise benefit?

  An SUV stops across the street. There is a string of blinking Christmas lights strung around the roof rack. The driver appears to be texting someone, so I guess we should all be thankful that she pulled over. Presuming that the driver lives somewhere nearby -- this is, after all, a residential street, not a main thoroughfare -- what message could be so vital that it needed a response before she got home?

  Our mail carrier usually parks in the dead end across the way to eat his lunch. I think he sometimes reads a magazine. What kind of article might he find so interesting that it will delay delivery of my copy of Entertainment Weekly?

  A red pickup truck drives past the house. A minute later, it drives past again, slightly faster, in the opposite direction. It passes a third time, once more in the original direction, faster than the first two times. What did the driver forget and have to go back for? And what is he presumably now running late for?

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