Working within constraints

Close-up of unidentified man in casket n.d.

Here is a picture of my dead Uncle Albert. Well, no. Not really. The photograph relates to the following writing prompt, provided by Kat.

It’s one of our more structured ones and I think it works well. Here goes…

Choose a room in a house. Decide which season it is outside. Put two people in the room. Write a scene in which neither person speaks.

Set a timer. We wrote to this prompt for 25 minutes.

It also got me thinking that all writing prompts are a form of constraint. There are a million stories waiting to be written but a lot less if you’ve decided the characters can’t talk, or that they are on a train, or over sixty or naked or…. the list is endless. Yet sometimes that’s what we need to escape the big blank page. Sometimes there are just so many things we could write about that it seems impossible to get anything down at all. That’s where a prompt can be so rewarding.

Kat dealt with this prompt by having one of her characters dead in a coffin. What fascinated me was the creepy behaviour of the woman in the room with him…

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One Response to Working within constraints

  1. Pingback: Postcard Shorts – The Fight | Welcome to Nine Mile Writers

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