I checked out the Writer’s Digest website for some writing resources and found a section for daily writing prompts. After looking at some of my previous writing, I felt that it would be a good idea to get in to the habit of writing for a situation or genre that I am not passionate about (basically anything besides the swords and sorcery fantasy genre). After deciding to take up the challenge to create a brief story per the website’s parameters, I followed the link and found some members’ submissions. I made the mistake of reading some of them included under the following prompt:
“Playing With Fire” –
“Playing With Fire” –
You come across a pack of matches that sets off a series of uncanny events. Start your story with “My mother always told me not to play with fire.” End it with “And that’s how I ended up in the middle of nowhere—naked” (Klems, http://www.writersdigest.com/).
Although I blew my chances to start writing on the “Playing With Fire” prompt without contamination, it did show me that I needed practice in different genres and to broaden my perspective on storytelling. A prompt can point in several directions, but one always seems to stand out as the most logical choice. Although that “obvious” choice may be clear, a story should not rest on its ordinary or rational haunches. It should push the reader, character(s) and writer into places they never intended but ultimately grow from new perspectives. Differences and divergence from the norm are what make stories interesting. Is a story about washing dishes, walking the dog and going to bed by 9 p.m. each night for 40 years exciting and interesting? I hope not, that is what goes on in real life. Nuance and alteration of pattern bring joy, adventure, and life to a story (and hopefully real life too).
I will be posting here at least once per week and experimenting with different styles/genres. Practice with writing the Writer’s Digest prompts will help to clear out the cobwebs and exorcise imagination gremlins. I need the discipline and deadlines to work under to focus on, and complete, writing pieces that I would be proud to share. There is a lot of work to do. If you see me failing to keep up with the deadlines or posting sloppy work, do not hesitate to let me know. I started here, declaring my intentions in public, so that I am accountable to the words I put out in the ether.