Friday, March 6, 2015

Literary Ninjas | Writing Prompt #001: Dream On

In first-prompt fashion, we start with the basics: dreams. After all, what better place for inspiration than the meanderings of your own mind? Like a game of Russian Roulette, you don't know what sleep will bring you: sometimes the dreams are funny, other times they're nightmares; there are those that are mundane and, more often than not, those that don't make sense at all. Most of the time, you're just along for the ride, though there are those rare moments when you are in control--you make the decisions and you decide where to walk--but even those are usually forgotten at the opening of one's eyes.

But have you ever had a dream that just wouldn't leave you? Maybe you had it years ago and can still remember to this day. Maybe the details have faded, but the essence sticks with you.

Here's where the Literary Ninja magic comes into play:

The prompt. Keeping that dream in mind, imagine that you are given a second chance--a second night--to re-live it. Except this time you are in control. What would you do, or not do? Would you stop yourself from going somewhere or explore that place that was just around the corner, finish that experience that was cut off short, or feel that rain that never got to fall?

You're the master of your mind for this challenge. Utilize this and bring it to life.

What to keep in mind:
  •  Remember that you already know what was supposed to happen, but the reader does not. Decide how you will work this into the piece, if at all. For example, if you decide to go with the route of a character getting a second chance at, say, a memory or part of the past, how much of the first time would the reader need to know to tell the difference between the experiences? Or maybe that's the key in your story, the lack of this knowledge, or the way that it is revealed.
  • I've found that newer writers have a tendency to mix viewpoints and tenses when doing this kind of theme, so decide before you begin writing what point of view you will be writing from (first-person, second-person, or one of the third-persons) and what tense it will be written in (past, present, or future). Too confusing? Can't decide? Use first person and present tense: "I am walking forward onto the edge of the cliff...I see this and this and I go here and there."
  • Word Count: 1,500 minimum.
Want to share your prompt ideas or completed prompts? Comment below with ideas or links to your finished pieces.

Look familiar? You may recognize these prompts from the late blog, Literary Ninjas, and DeviantART literature group, Writing-For-Fun. With my choice to close both, I still wanted to make the prompts available to those interested, and thus they will be posted here on Sleepy Hollow Street.

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