Paranoid Bell Peppers and Other Writing Prompts

'July Collage 3' photo © 2010, Julie Jordan Scott - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
 
Writing prompts are small sparklers that can light up corners of your writing mind, corners that might remain dark without the nudge.

Prompts can be so completely off the wall—”Describe how your intestines would try to parallel-park a minivan”—that your conventional approach to storytelling is struck dumb—a new tongue can be induced to speak.

Writing in other voices, other colors and other textures is a way to unleash your imagination’s beast. Roar!

There are a number of sites on the Net that supply good writing prompts. If a character in one of your stories goes mute, or a plot point doesn’t seem to have a point, they can be a good way to get your writing threads unglued. Writing for five minutes on some fizzy subject could loosen whatever is reining you in on your bigger project.

Here are some sites:

StoryWonk
Creative Writing Prompts
Writer’s Digest Prompts
Creative Writing Solutions
One Minute Writer
Sunday Scribblings
On Twitter: @writingprompts

And for fun, here are a couple of my pieces I just zipped off, a few minutes per. One was to put myself in the mind of a vegetable (not too hard in my case) and another in the mind of a metal. Both of them appear to have some self-esteem problems.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

“Uhh, something’s not right,” the bell pepper said aloud. I feel something damp right at my feet, she thought. No, not quite damp, no, more like mossy, yes mossy.

She strained to see her tiny feet, but being a bell pepper, could do nothing more than glimpse a bit of the soft green swell of her belly. It’s itchy too, she thought.

Then with an abrupt tightening of her shoulders (which being a bell pepper, didn’t tighten all that much), she realized it: she was moldy! Moldy, her, and not even two weeks old. She stifled a sob, and then groaned. She sensed the nearby celery shrinking back from her.

Iron’s Bluff Is Called

Nothing’s nobler than Iron, Iron Eddy thought. All those other pretenders, magnesium, sulphur, silicate—hah! Losers, pathetic wannabes. I alone am iron-hearted, iron willed. He looked quickly around and then said under his breath, “But I’ve been hearing some rumors, ugly rumors. It got back to me that my mother wasn’t pure!” He bestirred his tight neck and raised his voice: “Nonsense! Just look at me, red-blooded in every way!” But he cast his eyes down, to the ore of his soul, and murmured, “But what about those striations of blue. Surely no one can see their vile shadows …”

Get Prompted, Get Productive

I know I know, works of genius, aren’t they? But fun! Check out those prompt sites and fling some sentences into the universe. They might orbit around in your head long enough to spur you on write something with more gravity.