Over the last few weeks (and beyond?) the employees of the Otherworld Diner have had fun writing fiction that began with a writing prompt. Writing prompts are popular writer’s helpers. And why is that? Possibly because give a writer something to "chew on" (as my daughter puts it), and the writer’s muse will likely keep on until she comes up with a story to go along with the concept.
Personally, I’ve had two published short stories that were developed due to writing prompts. One, "Alev Ha-Shalom" was the result of a first line writing prompt given to me by my older daughter. The story formed almost immediately in my mind, and was published in Lost in the Dark (online) magazine. The other was "Nightfall in G-Flat" (which I posted here). This story was the result of a contest, and the prompt was the title.
It’s not only formal prompts that result in stories. One "prompt" that I made use of came to me in a dream. Honest. The dream was about a cat I used to have, and the first line was in my head when I woke up, "Randi was never a good witch, at least not in the sense of a good card player or a good dancer." The story, "Misha" found its way into an anthology. Southern Comfort: A Charitable Anthology.
Because I’ve had so much fun with writing prompts, I think I’ll try my hand at writing prompts:
1. Someone finds a monkey wearing pajamas, but all is not what it seems.
2. A brand new silk blouse is delivered to someone. There is no return address or indication of where it came from.
3. A television commercial leads to a brand new life for someone.
Feel free to play with these. Or maybe you’ll have a very strange dream tonight. Either way, enjoy!