Writing prompts for your sample due Wednesday

You’ll be writing about 750 words, an entirely arbitrary number or limit. We need enough to be able to spot bad habits, problems and areas for growth. You will want to jot down some ideas before committing to the piece. You will NOT turn in a first draft. Ernest Hemingway: “All first drafts are shit.” So don’t expect too much from a first draft, and don’t subject your reader(s) to a first draft. Allow yourself to fumble around a bit, to even fail. You will re-vise, self-edit and polish before submitting.

I’ve put together some prompts below to help you get started. The key for each is vivid description. Don’t just tell us she was pretty; SHOW us by richly, vividly, pains-takingly describing her to us ON A PARTICULAR DAY or moment. This makes good writing.

Option A: Recall your first love. Remember the person. The emotions. The big date, or prom. Remember his or her smell. What did you talk about? What did you share in common? What drove you crazy about him or her? Looking back now, is there a sense of sadness, of loss? Something else?

Option B: Recall your brush with the stars (or a star/celebrity/public figure). How did it happen? How did it make you feel? What were you wearing? What was he or she wearing? How close did you get? What were you thinking at the time. Sights, smells, sounds.

Option C: Recall your first memorable experience with your own writing, good or bad. What did you write? What aspect of the experience was especially painful or joyous or whatever it was? How did it alter how you think about writing, or your attitudes toward the activity of writing? How did you learn from the experience? How has it changed your behavior.

And remember: Writer’s block is a fiction (ha!). An excuse. Writing is work. Imagine a plumber saying, “Oh, I have plumber’s block today. I’m just not feeling it. I’ll plumb when I get the feeling back.” You may not feel inspired, but go to work anyway. Sit your ass in the chair and write. We all want to write well RIGHT NOW. But it takes time and work. If there is no wind, ROW!

One Response to Writing prompts for your sample due Wednesday

  1. Naing Oo says:

    I used to hate the woman who I am in love with now. We met through a tutoring program in Decatur, Georgia. We both tutor refugee students to speak English. At the time being I thought she was the kind of person who is always full of themselves. Therefore, I did what I could to avoid her as much as possible. That is until one day, I was forced to drive her home because her ride had already left. I dreaded to get to my truck.

    During the drive back to her house, we had the chance to talk enough that it led me to change my mind about the way I saw her. Since that ride, we both became best friends through out our senior year of high school. I then tried to ask her out for lunch and dinner. However, I failed to do so about 12 times. At the time being, I didn’t realize that her parents did not allow her to go out even with friends. So, I thought she had no interest in me and that my record of never getting denied by a woman was ruined. I decided to cut off all ties with her and moved on only to find out that we were both coming to Berry College.

    The summer of 2009 was the year we both came to Berry College. During that summer we both hung out with the same group of friends. I decided not to hang out with the group as much. I found out later from her friend that because I didn’t hang out with them, it bugged her a lot. Then one night, they all drag me to watch the movie Titanic with them. After the movie, everyone left and it was just she and I in the room.

    There we were in a room at Berry College, everything seemed to stop moving around us. We just sat there and stared at each other for what felt like eternity. Then, the kiss happened. It was as though her lips had this strong gravitational pull and just pulling my lips towards hers. Her eyes, which are the magnificent trap I could not escape. After the kiss, something I never had experience in my life took place.

    She started crying her eyes out. I had no idea what was going on. I learned from her after the fact that she is also not suppose to date but only to have an arranged marriage to a man from her native country, which is Afghanistan. Coming from a similar background, I understood what a big step she took to just kiss me. But because I am a guy, I had it easier about getting an arranged marriage. I did explain to her that if we stay strong for each other then there would be a way to deal with this in the future.

    After quite an amazing but unusual night, we started dating secretly. Up to this day, our parents do not know that we are deeply in love. With the love part, there is something that needs to be explained. She likes to say that I told her that I love her first. But I have a different story. On a stormy evening, I didn’t want to just sit in the room and watch television; therefore, I decided that she and I should take a walk. As we were walking, sure enough both of us were caught in a thunderstorm. We decided to run back to the room through the storm, which was a horrible idea on my part now that I think about it. As we were both running in the lightning storm I heard her yell out “I love you”, from behind me. At first, I was in shock but I knew she had said the three little words but I didn’t want to repeat it because I just wasn’t sure. So I asked her to repeat what she said and as soon as she repeated the words I kissed her in the rain. My heart was racing so fast like a stallion that I thought it was going to rip out of my chest and run away from me. After we kissed, I said the same three words to her.

    That was two years and seven months ago, when I met my first love. I will never be able to forget this special moment, which we both share in common.

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