Top Six Prompts from the First Year

Top Six Prompts from the First Year

On the thirty-first of July, 2015, I posted my first ever writing prompt. It kicked off a weekly tradition of taking time to write for myself, for fun, for practice and for personal development. Today I wrote prompt number ninety – hard to believe I’ve done that many! I’ve had a lot of fun responding to these prompts, and I’ve learned a lot too. I haven’t had a chance to carry all those lessons into my big projects yet, but the freedom to try something new (and fail in the short-term if need be) has been liberating.

After I posted my big one year special, I forgot to do a recap, so I’ve decided to do it now. Here are my favorite prompts from the first year of practice. (I meant to choose five, but I loved so many, I chose six!)

1. Only Human
Featuring: Domerin (though he isn’t named)
Why I like it: This story woke me up early on a Saturday morning, demanding to be told. It arrived when I had a free moment, and it was short enough to get out in one sitting. There’s a lot of horror atmosphere in this little story; and horror isn’t something I usually write. But I like how it worked out. It’s got just the right amount of sinister mixed with science-fiction. I also like how well it stands alone (even though it’s part of a larger idea).

2. I Did the Right Thing
Featuring: Domerin (I promise, he’s not the main character in all of them ^^;; )
Why I like it: This prompt started as a quick two scenes in my head and quickly grew into its own short story. As the concept kept expanding, I didn’t rein it in, I just let it be what it wanted to be. There’s not a lot of action, but it packs an emotional punch. I wanted to write something that involved dealing with loss and guilt. But I also wanted to show the side of heroes we don’t usually see; the aftermath of dealing with their successes and their failures. Ours is a world of grey and, yet, there are ways to find joy.

3. A Book Infested with Ghosts
Featuring: Rose
Why I like it: This is actually part two of a Halloween special, the first half of which was written by my writing partner. I try not to write witchy stuff too often (I don’t want it to feel overdone), but I really had fun with this one. What I like most is the imagery. I’ve pulled many a #1linewed from this short. Again, it has a tinge of that eerie, horror feel (just enough for me to handle) and it let me write fantasy magic from a somewhat less traditional angle.

4. They Return Every Year to Lay Flowers on the Spot
Featuring: Azmih
Why I like it: I was inspired to write this short after watching the anime Mushishi. The anime is about a fellow named Ginko who can see and interact with strange spirits that often cause humans difficulties. He travels Japan, helping people when he can, though not every tale has a happy ending. I had been struggling to write about Azmih; the character is near and dear to me, yet, I’m not sure what form his story will ultimately take. I liked the idea of writing little self-contained adventures for him and this was my first shot at it. I loved it so much, I’m hoping to write a follow-up some day.

5. What Does the Music Tell You?
Featuring: Cazella
Why I like it: I am not a dancer (though a dear friend of mine used to be), but I am attached to music. I was in both the band and the chorus in school (though I was probably much better at singing). Music has a deep connection to creativity, and I really wanted to capture that in this piece. Music can inspire and transport us. But I also wanted to play with the idea that not all creativity has to be a conscious act; that sometimes letting go of thought and fear is exactly what allows us the freedom to create. I really enjoyed describing the sounds in this piece as well.

6. First Time Getting Drunk
Featuring: Ryn’dar’ud (the giant space jellyfish) (with a cameo from Cazella)
Why I like it: I love Ryn, my giant space jellyfish, more than I can say. I created him for a short-lived sci-fi forum my husband ran and I’ve never had a chance to do much with him (yet). I really love writing alien species that bear no resemblance to humans. It’s interesting to play around with how they express themselves, and how things affect them that humans might not normally think about. This ended up being a whimsical, humorous scene and I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback about how I portrayed Ryn. I’d like to do more with him in the future, but he has yet to tell me his whole story.

Thanks for reading so many of my scribbles. We’re coming up on the two year mark!

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