Connie A Thompson

Writer Wednesday: Writing Prompts

photo-14I used to hate writing prompts. They were always so specific having little to do with the ideas swirling through my mind. My mentor, Leslie Pietrzyk this semester at the Converse MFA program happens to love them. It only took one workshop with her and now I love them too.

Leslie doesn’t give long prompts, they are simply a word or object. You have fifteen minutes to write. Our first prompt was the word, exhausted. Our second prompt was an object, an ivory rhinoceros.

I enjoyed listening to my fellow students and mentor as they shared how they worked rhinoceros into their work. One chose ivory rather than the animal and one had his character stomp like a rhinoceros.
Here is my rhinocerus example.

Bree watched his thick fingers as he maneuvered the knife scraping and gouging the wood. He claimed it was his third attempt at making a giraffe. Their necks kept snapping before he could finish.

She surveyed the other animals: elephants, zebras, gorillas, rhinoceros or would it be rhinoceroi. Two by two. These were a gift for his great-grandson, Noah. Brie couldn’t fathom a girl her age being married and have a baby.

She picked up the rhino, feeling the weight of it, her fingers felt the rough areas.

“I still have to sand it. Make it smooth. Can’t have him getting splinters,” her grandfather chuckled.

Bree didn’t remember the old man as kind. She remembered him as cranky and always smoking cigarettes, a Pabst blue ribbon beer always by his side while some sports show played on television. There was an ashtray on the front porch so she suspected he still smoked. A sweating glass of tea sat near his side. The television was dark and silent.

On the walls hung a multitude of pictures. There was no organization, it seemed every time her grandmother received a new school picture, she bought a frame and found an empty spot to hang it. Brie saw her first grade picture as well as her high school graduation picture among the collage.

I’ve found these prompts to be an excellent way to get the writing started. So often, beginning is the most difficult part. The small goal of fifteen minutes of writing while focusing on an object or word gives me freedom to experiment. Check back every Wednesday where I plan to offer a prompt.

Today’s Prompts: Green and the photo at the top of this post. You have 15 minutes for each. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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