Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prompts

I've been happy to see some more of my stories appear in the last month in some great journals. A year and a half ago, some friends and I started a monthly writing contest where we each wrote a 1,000-word story based on a prompt. Because I've been focusing on the novel, this has turned out to be a great way for me to feel somewhat productive. Even if I didn't get anything else written, I had a 1,000-word story at the end of the month. Here are the prompts that led to the stories that got published.

Morass: "A Pile of Shirts, Ripped from the Body" in Clapboard House
Rickshaw: "Blue-Suited Henchman, Kicked Into Shark Tank" in SmokeLong Quarterly

You can read another story from our group (The tar prompt that made me write the story in Juked) here at Pindeldyboz from P. Terrence McGovern.

4 comments:

Jon Steinhagen said...

A great method for evoking writing that has yielded some great stories. The now defunct (sadly)Regroup Theatre in NYC used to do the same thing for its annual short play festival...prompts like "hair" and "smoke," which I found extremely inspiring (and I think I wrote some nifty short plays because of them). I think part of the fun is responding to a prompt by saying, "Well, lemme see if I can avoid the most OBVIOUS reaction to so-and-such and come up with something off the wall and possibly cool."

Keep the prompt stories coming!

Crispin Best said...

dear kevin wilson

i am a uk-based fan of your writing
i would like to buy your book 'tunneling to the center of the earth'
please can you recommend from where i should buy said book to give you (or your publisher) maximum benefits from the purchase, while at the same time 'not breaking the bank' (should there be a question mark here?)

any response would be greatly appreciated. any lack of response will not be held against you.

thank you very much,

very best,

crispin

David Erlewine said...

I was never one for prompts until taking a wonderful fiction workshop in the beautiful Austin home of Amanda Eyre Ward.

Now I love prompts.

Very cool to hear so many great stories of yours got started from prompts.

My picture at JMWW was cropped to kick out my son. All of him is gone except his little hand on my neck. A friend said that is the definitive Erlewine picture - smiley and creepy. A few weeks I decided to write a story about the hand on neck. It just got taken by Staccato Fiction. I am kvelling (that is a Yiddish term I am no doubt misspelling). I am happy.

Crispin, dude the book is greatness. Curious what you think after you read. Let me know. D

DrGravitee said...

Thanks, Kevin!