Writing Prompt #1

I’d like to try something new – but it’s going to require a bit of reader participation. I know I don’t really have the time to sit down and do a lot of fiction writing right now, and I suspect there are a lot of others in the same boat. But I do know that the only way to get better at writing is to do a little of it on a regular basis. So, I’ve started compiling some visual prompts that spur the creative process. Here’s what I’d like to do:

Once a week, most likely on Fridays, I’ll post up a picture that I’ve either found on the web or is a photograph that I’ve taken. From there, you use that image as the basis for a short story. It can as short as a drabble (100 words exactly) or as long as a short story, but let’s not exceed 1500 words, for the sake of keeping the stories easily readable in a short period of time. Write your story, post it on your own blog, and then make sure there is a comment or trackback here pointing to your story. I’ll then compile all the links into a new entry on the following Thursday and post up a new writing prompt on Friday.

I’m going to need help with this, though, aside from needing people to write stories. I’d also appreciate as much word-of-mouth as I can get, so even if you don’t participate by writing stories, if folks could help by advertising these writing prompts on their own blogs and send people this way, that would help immensely to create a fun writing environment for everyone.

So, without further ado, here’s the first writing prompt:


Write a story based on this image that is no longer than 1500 words. Then leave a comment or trackback to this entry linking to your story so I can add it to the list.

12 thoughts on “Writing Prompt #1”

  1. It’s all the games coming out. We’re in mid-cycle for the 360 and there are about 10 titles that I want to play. And ’08 brings GTA4 and hopefully Fallout, plus Far Cry 2 and Crysis. Never been a better time to be a gamer. Worst time to be a gamer-writer. :)

  2. Aw dang, are you serious? This is pretty much exactly the sort of thing, and as often as I’d like it. Shoot. Crap. I might just have to begin seriously writing. Thanks. And, haha, nice to see you on xanga — I, too, am glad they allow off-site comments. But I think, for now, I’ll stay there for my writings and bloggings and such. A year from now, who knows? …

  3. Deadly serious. I’m just disappointed that no one’s participated yet. I intend to produce a story of my own for posting on Thursday, so I’m going to keep at it. Hopefully someone else will jump on the wagon with me and take some of the loneliness out of writing.

  4. The writing blogosphere seems dead lately. I notice a lot of regulars haven’t been posting or making the blog rounds and posting in comments. I’ll do it. Just gimme a few days. :)

  5. Yeah, I’ve been rather out of touch with the writing front myself lately. It’s just been extremely difficult to find the time to keep involved, let alone do any writing of my own. Of course NaNoWriMo is coming up, so perhaps folks are getting quiet in preparation for that.

    Could be the assault of the Erics for this one, since both respondents to the writing prompt share the same name. Should be fun, though. :)

  6. I think it’s a really cool idea. I just honestly couldn’t think of anything to go with this picture. (Actually, I’m not even sure what it IS . . .) Hopefully I can join in on the next one.

  7. I’ll look forward to it, Eric.

    Honestly, Mandie, the idea is to just go with the first (or second, or third) thing that comes to mind when you see the picture. You really don’t have to necessarily what the picture _is_ – just use it for inspiration. :)

  8. I wrote a short story for this the day I saw it a month ago. I have been writing for a decade or so and have countless stories and novels planned out, but due to a perfectionist streak and a lifelong problem with concentration, mood and distraction (I fulfil all the diagnostic criteria of ADD, Asperger’s Syndrome and cyclothymia), I have never really completed anything. At the time I was struggling with my blog, with the idea that I had written nothing aside from the blog for months, and with the knowledge that since it takes me so long to form my thoughts, and a blog precludes this, the blog itself amounted to nothing. I felt it would be good to do a “finger exercise” and try to finally write something following my first idea rather than turning it into the mass of notes and agonised thoughts that it would normally turn into. I really pushed the boat out in this sense by setting the story in America despite my complete lack of experience of the place and the idiom, something I would never normally allow myself to do. I have only just read over it again and though I hope to find time to re-write it, I find it very hard to turn back and edit old work and feel it must be a good thing for me to break down my normal barriers by allowing others to see the work in its raw state, with literally nothing having been changed from the time I typed it. Since there don’t seem to be many other takers, since I would like to encourage you to carry on with the writing prompts by my involvement, and since I have not yet brought in any readers for my blog (which is principally about my difficulty with Asperger’s/ADD; at least I think it is) I thought I should post it:


    Go easy on me:)

    ps. The name Krogh is from Graham Greene’s England Made me, which I think partly inspired the story or character within it. Krogh was the character in the novel he said that refused to come alive.

    pps. I have no idea what trackbacks or pings are and so have no idea whether I ought to be using them here to notify people of the source of the story. I’ll try and look into it if I don’t get distracted:)

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