what if the inspiration lake dries up? // a little lesson in using writing prompts + interactive insanity

Hey y’all!

Wooosh it’s been a week. Guys, it’s already February. Is anyone else barely hanging on? 😀

Today, I thought we’d do some inspirational things. It’s kind of the worst when inspiration dies. You’re just putting along when all of a sudden, progress stops.

What do you when this happens?

if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably deny it and stare at the blank page anyway just dying inside.

So without further ado, let’s dive in!


You’ve reached the reserves of your idea-juice.

Sooner than you expected, it is all gone. Unfortunately, idea-juice is rare these days. You can’t buy it in the stores anymore. They only hand out sample packets.

You sigh. Why did you have to use it all up? If you only had rationed it a little more, it may have lasted the entire project.

But alas, no.

The sample packet will have to do.

“Just add imagination,” the back reads.

Behold, the mighty writing prompt.

The words that hold that one scenario that you’d never get to write out of the walls of the prompt. Heaven knows you’d never dream of including that in your WIP… Or maybe you don’t even have a WIP for it. Maybe the segment of plot caught your attention and screamed until you wrote something for it.

Good thing no one will be reading your little piece of flash fiction.

or in my case…

But why does this work?

I propose that it’s found in the lack of restriction.

When you are writing the world’s next best-seller, there is always a self-constructed list of do’s and don’ts.

But take that out of the equation, and you’re set free.

*racecar noise*

So for a moment, we’re going to do something fun and interactive! (I mean if y’all so choose…)

Are you struggling to get your speed back? Is that one stupid plot hole snagging everything?

DUMP IT!

Join me!


RULES:

  • We are going to do something suuuuuper fun. 🙂 Below are three different prompts. If you want to, pick one and write your own little piece of flash fiction. It doesn’t need to be long. 😀
  • You cannot use anything from any current project of yours. It must be original.
  • REVEL IN THE COLLECTIVELY CREATIVE FAMILY OF THE INTROVERTED RACONTEUR. ENCOURAGE EACH OTHER.
  • Remember, this doesn’t need to be fancy.
  • (it isn’t a requirement that you need to join in! don’t feel pressured to do so! you can just enjoy the insanity! think of that!)

FIRST PROMPT: Use the first line of a nursery rhyme as the first line of a dark narrative.

“Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,” he mumbled hastily as he ran. They were catching up, and if they caught him, it wouldn’t be good.

His mother had always recited those words as he would help her with chores. She was gone now, and along with her, the boy’s moral compass.

Jack supposed it was his own fault. He should have known not to get anywhere near the Nortlet Store. Despite having a seemingly non-frightening name, the men who ran it weren’t there to play games. Jack had learned this by now, and yet he still found himself inside its walls.

Despair drives a person to do anything, even steal from his own kinsmen. The people in this town were too self-righteous for him. Recite the daily prayers at the plaza, perform the ritual, clean their homes while trying to clean their sins away; it was stupid to Jack.

Why go through all that trouble? It didn’t matter anyway. There was nothing in the religion they performed. They all wore pleasant-looking facades.

But he couldn’t diss the faith of his country now. He was running from the strongest men he knew. These men were also the fastest. They would be by his side in no time.

He clutched the jar he had shoplifted seconds before tightly in his hands. If he could reach the ladder in time, he’d make it out. He’d be able to feed the kids. He’d be the hero.

However, Jack was right. The men caught up soon after thinking he was clear.

Ripping the jar from his hands, the two men threw it to the ground. It shattered, and Jack watched with a pained expression as the aromatic food spilled out.

A bright pain blossomed on the side of his face and his vision went dark.

He’d failed his friends, once again.

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…


SECOND PROMPT: “Right now, I don’t know if I want to kiss you or shove you off a bridge…” “Can I pick?”

Yanna grabbed the nearest rock and hurled it into the river below her.

“I can’t believe you,” she yelled exasperatedly.

The boy next to her looked at her, confused at her outburst.

“Listen, you. You would’ve done the same-”

Maybe, but I would have told someone… I would have probably told my best friend-” Yanna paused to chuck another stone down- “I swear, Len…”

The girl groaned loudly and threw at least two more rocks into the river before the boy, Len, spoke.

“It was for your safety. I had to pretend that- that I never existed.” The sentence seemed to trip out of his mouth. “I had to, you know this. I was marked. I had to disappear. You’re overreacting a little, Yannasia.”

Yanna whirled on him.

“Well, excuse me for freaking out, I only thought you were DEAD,” she yelled.

She had been yelling a lot lately, which Len thought was a little unreasonable. Sure, he had left, but did this really need to be this huge?

He sighed and rubbed his eyes. Yanna took the opportunity to throw a pebble at him. That alone would have been fine except she used all of her strength.

“Ow!”

“You’re an idiot!”

“Yanna-”

She looked at him with her beautiful mud-brown eyes. Those eyes had always triggered a lovely response in his heart, even if he knew she couldn’t hear it.

“Right now,” she started, “I don’t know if I want to kiss you or shove you off a bridge.”

The statement shocked Len, and he swallowed hard. Both of the alternatives were equally unusual for Yanna. Well, the first one was at least.

“Can I pick?” he asked hopefully. Len, being very much of a non-idiot as he could be, turned on his signature smirk, hoping to God that girls liked smirks as much as it was said they did.

For a moment, he thought he had succeeded. Yanna stood in front of him and twisted her lips into the “thinking” facial expression. He’d seen it countless times before. It always made him want to laugh and hug her at the same time.

He’d never said anything, but Len was truly in love with her. Maybe, just maybe, she’d decide not to throw him into the river. Maybe she’d go with the alternative…

She made her decision.

“No, you can’t,” she said, pushing him over the wall and sending him tumbling into the cold blue water below.

“You’re an idiot, Len,” she reminded him after he surfaced.


THIRD PROMPT: “Hair fell over his forehead, nearly hiding his mismatched eyes.”

Ezra walked down the main street. This wasn’t his first time in this village, but the way everyone looked at him, it made him feel like it was.

He hated being marked.

Why in the world had he let himself believe he was normal? He knew he wasn’t. No one had different colored eyes. It wasn’t even the normal looking type of different. Oh, if only it had been a simple “blue and hazel” situation.

Women screamed.

“He’s a demon! Run, my child!”

Ezra sighed. It was tiring after a while of this. You’d think after a million or so years on the world of Icthelial you’d become used to people screaming when they saw your deformed eyes.

One was blue, one was completely black. No iris, no white, just blackness.

Soon, very soon, he’d be finished with his time and he’d be allowed to return to his normal residence in the Halls of Icthel.

That’s kind of what you deserve, though, he thought to himself, for angering a Guardian. One blow to the eye and he was unconscious for years, only to wake to a black eye.

Literally.

Ezra wandered down the street, mourning the loss of his god-like status in the Halls for the hundred-millionth time that century. He was so caught up in his immortality problems that he wasn’t watching where he was walking.

“Oof,” the black-eyed Ezra exclaimed. (to be fair, he needed a good jolt.)

“Oh, I’m sorry, sir…”

Ezra looked up to see a beautiful young woman in front of him. She was the kind of beautiful that was almost annoying to look at. The kind that makes one go “well she clearly has it all together”.

He was so caught up in her beauty that he didn’t see her eyes widen until she gasped. She’d seen his eye.

No!

He realized that his hair had fallen over his forehead, only nearly covering his mismatched eyes. Quickly, he scrambled to recover his eye.

“Your eye…”

“Yes, I know. It’s black,” he snapped.

She stood there still, staring at him in awe. She even started to laugh a little.

“Well, aren’t you going to flee in terror?”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Ezra.”

The air left his lungs. How did she know…

The corners of her mouth began to turn up again, and if Ezra hadn’t lost his breath already, he would’ve then.

“Yes, I know you. You’re probably acquainted with my father?”

Everything was whirling around in his head. Who was she? Who was her father? How did she know him?

She reached out a hand and placed it on his face near his eye.

“From what I’ve been told of the situation, you deserved that black eye.”

“Did I?” he asked, bluntly. The moment the words left his lips, he cringed. Ezra was losing his composure. He couldn’t focus his mind. She knew him. Her father knew him. On top of that, she touched his face.

“Come now, it’s not so hard. My father didn’t hit you that hard.”

“Wait-” his voice cracked- “you’re…”

She lost all of her mystique very suddenly. Rolling her eyes, she spoke louder this time.

“For Icthel’s sake, boy, you are slow for someone who has been around this long. My father is a Guardian. The Guardian who struck you and sent you to the Middle.”

“O-oh, I see.”

He didn’t see.

“So what are you here for, Wendal?”

“Wandar. And I am here to bring you home again. Father has forgiven you. It took me forever but I finally succeeded in convincing him.”

Ezra nodded slowly.

“Ah.”

Silence fell on the two old lovers, finally reunited.

“So, are we still together?”

She slapped his arm, semi-playfully but also in a much more real sense than Ezra knew.

“My word, you’re dense, Ez.”

“I’m taking that as a yes.”

And the two returned to the halls of Icthel, home to Guardians of the Middle. It was all solved.

Or until the next time Ezra did something stupid.


 

*SCREAMING*

THAT WAS SO FUN!!!!!!!!

I can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!!

Let your minds run wild!!

Now go forth, mis amigos and amigas, and smile. Your day is just beginning. Make the best of it. Don’t procrastinate. Work hard. Make me proud. 🙂

Love you all,

Madeleine ❤ ❤ ❤

2 thoughts on “what if the inspiration lake dries up? // a little lesson in using writing prompts + interactive insanity

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