May 19th, 2011
I decided to take on a writing prompt challenge from a forum I frequent — not for the moderator’s contest, however, because I simply won’t be able to meet her deadline. But, I’m going to write it anyways and see where it’ll take me. And I’m being courageous enough to invite you into my story making process
Here’s the photo for our story prompt – the original had music, but, sigh, I wasn’t able to hear it. Probably for the best, it may have prejudiced the world I’m about to create Oh, and I’ll be hovering near the 5k word limit assigned. Five thousand words worked for my contracted-for-publication YA vampire shorty, so I think that’s a nice sized number for me to manage successfully
OK, so first things first. I study the picture for every single little detail and then let my mind wander, to take things or objects in the image and place them out of context, change its meaning from what we know today to something different, opposite. I try to create and solve a mystery behind every detail in this picture.
So, when I look at this photo, I’m intrigued by the six, round, white lights in the background. Sure, they could be city lights, lights from cars, but in my imagination, those lights are for something very specific, because it looks to me like they’re hovering in a pattern. In my mind, she’s being watched. By *something*. A *something* that I’m not quite ready to reveal just yet
A small detail, but, she’s wearing a silver cross. I’m thinking that will have meaning, but perhaps not with a religious undertone — funny to think that way, because, it is, after all, a cross. However, I see it as something else, a symbol used to show significance, more over, HER significance to this world I’m fabricating. That starts adding more to my MC’s conflict and leads to discovering the reason *why* she’s holding that grenade. (or *is* it a grenade? )
There are laser lights pointed at her chest and hands. A sign she’s targeted by someone, police? gangsters? Ohh, I have an idea, all right, but it’s still in it’s developmental stage. However, it’s very very curious to me whey they haven’t taken her down yet. It’s apparent that they could, her vitals are in the line of fire, but something about her has them halting, hesitating. And that will be a key point I’m going to explore.
It’s raining in the pic. Or is it? Sure, it appears that water is falling from the sky, however, what if that’s not nature-made water, but rather, man-made. And what if that yellow ‘jacket’ she’s wearing isn’t really a raincoat, but rather a cloak? Well, right there, by changing the article of clothing I create another area of interest. What’s the purpose behind wearing a yellow cloak? Do they wear them for special occasions, or ceremonies? As a means of protection, or self-preservation?
Perhaps my favorite mystery of this image is her bag. What’s in the bag? hahaha! I love that question, as it’s spawned all sorts of delicious answers in my mind — answers that will come once more backstory and world building are done.
So, no, I have not started a “story draft” of this yet. I’ve been waking up at 4 am each morning, before I go to work from 7-4, to write as much as I can — and when I say write, I mean, literally, write, not type. I’m using my favorite Rolling Writer and just scrawling out all sorts of things, lines of random dialog that pop into my head, names for certain devices, organizations and objects of reverence. It may be a couple weeks before I can actually start composing the actual story, but ohhh! I have so many delectable tidbits scattered through my looseleaf pad that, well, I’m finding I’m sneaking more and more time to compile things before I birth this baby of a story.
Anyways, while I don’t have a title yet, currently just the generic ol’ Short Story in Progress, SSiP, I do know soon I’ll be heading over to one of my favorite writing resources on the web…
They have an invaluable thesaurus for things like weather, emotion, color, character traits, everything! A mighty thanks to Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi for their amazing efforts to construct such a reference for us writers. I credit their thesaurus for helping me remember certain aspects about being in a church, things that helped solidify the reality in my story, SANCTUARY, the one accepted for publication in Wyvern Publications, Fangtales anthology!