Prompt Response

Within my collection of draft posts, I discovered an unpublished response to an old prompt from Three Word Wednesday. The three words on December 30 were “ambush, hideous, and meddle”.

The response is worthless in the draft list, so I might as well drag it out of hiding. Below is the response, a 99-word piece of fiction titled “Hunting Boredom”.

Prey approached. The monster held his breath and moved nothing but his eyes. The human would get no warning.

A vine of green satin draped over one shoulder, heavy, but the monster waited, counting within the shadows until the sixtieth second. Then he leapt.

Shirts flew alongside him, adding drama to his ambush. The human screamed.

“Sam! Get out of my room!” She flung a large rock, but he only roared in hideous laughter. The rock felt as light as a pillow.

From beyond the jungle, a meddler shouted. “Samuel, go to your own room. Leave your sister alone.”

I like to see what comes of writing prompts.

Jungle Plants © Ann M. Lynn

Other than word prompts, photographs of living things are my favorite type. The more life in an image, the more likely the prompt will spark a story. I’ll usually bypass images of inanimate objects, because they feel dead. Objects from prompts are tempting MacGuffins–little more than placeholders.

The one thing I dislike about writing quickly from a prompt is there’s little time to develop a speculative element. If I start considering physics or magic, my inner editor starts working again.

What do you think of writing prompts? Are they more of a help or hindrance to you?


8 thoughts on “Prompt Response”

  1. I think that I tend to prompt myself with certain words I come across while reading. For instance, the word ‘subinfeudation,’ which means to subdivide a tenant farm perhaps without the knowledge of the landlord and thereby defraud him. But in the context where I came across the word it was used to describe a movement in writing: narrative subinfeudation, where the writer begins slowly, out at the periphery, to undermine the main point of their own work, almost a counter-movement to oneself, a breakage in the idea of the consistent, self-ruling ‘author,’ a rupture self-consciously, but slowly and obliquely, accomplished. This is a good hybridization of concepts.

    1. Welcome, TOG! That word and its meaning are new to me. Thanks for sharing.

      I tend to over think the prompts I pick out from my reading, so they don’t work as well as prompts given to me. You must have a good deal of self-control.

    1. Is an act of self-control one of finality? I see self-control as a continuous moderating force, one that can create balance. Perhaps creative energy cannot be controlled, but I believe someone can better guide creativity through self-control. / End my philosophical ramble

  2. As you know, I’m not a prompt user, but I did enjoy the exercise I tried a couple weeks ago. I think before I felt they were a hindrance. Or maybe I’m just too stubborn and don’t like to be told what to write. 🙂 I’m more open to them now.

    I liked this little piece you wrote. Your end took me totally by surprise.

    1. I’m glad you liked my piece, Linda. Regarding prompts, it’s wonderful you’re experimenting with activities that scared or frustrated you in the past. I think we all need to do that to grow, and many of us can look to you as inspiration.

  3. As a mother of two (rowdy 8 yr old, sassy 3yr old), both of whom love to push the other’s buttons to coerce a scream…I loved this story the first time I read it. The second time I read it, I laughed out loud.

    And, as for prompts, you know I love them (at least on Wednesdays). I’m looking forward to seeing what you do with yours come Feb. 24th.

    For all you Shadows readers, Ann will be guest posting on the 24th for Wed’s Word on my blog, Writing Under Pressure. Fun, fun, fun!

    1. My sister and I used to jump out at each other and at our friends, and it was fun reliving those moments through Sam.

      I’m looking forward to my first opportunity to guest post. Make it a great prompt, Christi!

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