Category Archives: Writing Prompt

The Chronicler’s Safari

treasure_mapWhat happens when a writer feels empty? I’m not talking about writer’s block, or the times I can’t think of what a character should say or do next. I mean empty…like when there are no stories left in me.

This happens on occasions when I’ve been pushing really hard and have just completed a project, attended a book event, and participated in a panel for young writers all within a very  short time frame. In short I’m spent and I feel as I have been wrung dry of every story idea. If I were to sit in front of the computer nothing would happen, except maybe a game of solitaire or two.

It’s during times like these I am presented with a couple of choices: I can either sit in front of the television and become a vegetable or I can go on a story safari. It is often tempting to plant myself before the ‘one-eyed monster’ (as my mother called it), but the better, more exciting choice is to go on the hunt. So I pack my gear and head out into the story wilderness.

You might ask where that would be and what gear I need. I’ll start by listing the vital pieces of equipment needed on such a quest. My rucksack is filled with a digital camera for still photos and video and a digital recorder (a smartphone can be substituted for both of these items). I also carry a writing tablet, sketch pad, a couple of pencils (soft lead, of course), a bottle of water, and a protein bar.

The territory I cover is vast: the mall, the park, the movie theater, fast food restaurants, and these are just a few of the places I explore. When I get there I observe the denizen in their natural habitat. I make note of how they talk, the way they interact, and what they wear. I pay close attention to how they address or ignore their elders, especially how they whine and wheedle to get what they want. Without fail I come home with new story ideas.

Do I only go on safari when I’m empty? Absolutely not! I go out often because you ever know when a new idea will strike. Have my fans ever spotted me on one of my treks? As a matter of fact they have. They will often ask if I saw what just happened and will that be in one of my books. My answer is always: You never know what lurks in the heart and mind of a writer…the pages will tell the tale.

Writing Prompt – Ugly Foot Finds Its Doppleganger

“Creativity is contagious. Pass it on.”
~ Albert Einstein

Inspiration! It can happen anywhere!

Ideas are born in the strangest places, ignited by bizarre objects or strange people. Or a random photo from my daughter’s honeymoon pics.

Here’s the scoop: Lily was excited to get a window seat on the plane for their honeymoon trip. Then the passenger behind her rested his/her ugly, bandaged foot on Lily’s armrest. She couldn’t stomach the sight of it. Her hubby gave in and traded seats. (After all, a happy wife is a happy life, right?)

BBH McChiller, Lynn Kelley, Kathryn Sant
Almost anything can be used as a writing prompt. Even a photo of an ugly foot!

If you were in an English class and were given an impromptu assignment to write a story based on the photo on the left, what would you write?

Nonfiction? How to politely elbow that foot off your armrest? The importance of cleansing wounds? *yawn*

Sci-fi/Paranormal? Ugly Foot Finds Its Doppelganger in an Alternate Dimension?

Horror? Remember the movie The Crawling Hand? It scared the heck out of me when I was a kid! How about writing a sequel called The Prowling Foot?

Humor? Is there anything that could possibly be funny about that foot?

 

 

Hmm…what would Erma Bombeck have written?Erma Bombeck could write about anything and make it humorous.

 

 

 

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Romance? Good grief! I’m not going there.

Mystery? One with lots of subplots and dead bodies with missing toes? That might be horror, too. *Shudders* Definitely not a story I could write!

“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it,
and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
~ Sylvia Plath

You know what that photo of an injured foot inspired me to write? A crazy blog post!

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher

Could you stomach sitting next to that ugly foot?
Do you find ideas in weird places? What inspires you to be creative?

Lynn Kelley Author, Curse of the Double Digits, BBH McChiller, Monster Moon mysteries

Lynn Kelley worked as a court reporter for 25 years while she and her husband, George, raised their four little rascals, but nowadays she’s a goofball in the highest degree who’s susceptible to laughing jags. She tries to control herself out in public, but it’s not easy. She’ll jump at any excuse to wear funky get-ups. For instance, making wacky YouTube videos, entertaining her grandkids, or hanging out at a costume party.

Her first chapter book, Curse of the Double Digits, debuted in October 2012. Under the pseudonym BBH McChiller she and co-author Kathryn Sant write the fun, spooky Monster Moon mystery series for ages 8 to 12. Curse at Zala Manor is the first book in the series, and Secret of Haunted Bog is the second title. Book 3, Legend of Monster Island, will be out shortly.

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