Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Prompt


First line from:  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, the rest are my own words.


"Going up the river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings."


The air was oppressive and thick like the jungle on either side.  Greenish, blackish water covered with algae made a troubling path through which the small boat traveled.  The water itself seemed alive, rippled here and there with unknown creatures, large and small that lurked underneath.


Was there human life beyond the river's edge?  The trees at the edge of the river, gnarled and twisted as their roots clung to the wet banks, were so close together and so intertwined that no light could be seen between them. There were sounds coming from those trees, strange bird calls, echoing whoops, shrill notes, repeated sounds with unknown messages.


No one spoke, each lost in their own thoughts, some perhaps questioning their motives for being in this place.  The sun, a fiery orange ball, was setting slowly; strips of purple clouds in the sky gave the scene an unworldly appearance.


The boat slowly turned toward shore.  "We're here," a voice said.


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Prompts are like push-ups for writing practice.  Sometimes it's fun to pick a sentence from the paper or favorite book to use as a first line.  Writing inspired by a  photograph is another.  What is your favorite writing "push-up"?





13 comments:

  1. sounds pretty creepy--could see it

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    1. Hi Lynn, I'm following you on the blogs I visit.

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  2. Great imagery. I like using prompts for practice too. A picture can inspire the same thing. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog.

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  3. Like a lull before the storm...that's what your words suggest to me. Beautiful descriptions. I prefer unique picture prompts to the word ones, they have a magical quality to them and have inspired some of my poetry and flash fiction.
    Thanks for visiting.

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    1. I am so not "with it," what is flash fiction?

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  4. Your description made me think of the movie "The African Queen." Only creepier. Good writing!

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  5. Very good.
    Prompts are very good when I can't think of anything to post.

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  6. I finally arrived. Took me long enough.

    I think writing prompts are great and helpful. i kind of used the titles of the tales as my prompts. And let me tell you, it wasn't much to work with.

    Love your "answer" to the prompt.

    Teresa

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    1. Thanks, Teresa. This one just poured out and surprised me.

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  7. I like the idea of taking a line to start with. I've also done that with a free writing exercise where you start with the free line and just write randomly until you feel stuck or pause and then rewrite the first line and start again. You do this lots and lots and by about the tenth time you start to find gold.

    Wagging Tales

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  8. Hi, Gee, I think maybe as a teacher I've shown kids a picture and told them to tell or write a story about it.. Would that be a prompt? I guess it would. So I suppose I have used a prompt. Very interesting post. Best regards to you.
    Ruby aka Grammy

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    1. It's fun just to practice. In "Creative Writing" in high school, we would start with a prompt at the beginning of class--everyone writes. It focuses the students and then we share. I would write as well.

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