Prompts

Choose one of these prompts. See Prewriting Exercises below for Lynda Barry’s exercise on exploring an “image” before you begin to write. Try to post your flash before tomorrow’s course goes live at 12:00 noon. Feel free to bend or depart from the prompts!

1. Write up to 500 words about an object that’s important to you. Some suggestions: a childhood toy, an inherited memento, a souvenir, an odd object that you remember for no apparent reason. Try to situate the object in a scene (it could be part of a story, but doesn’t have to be).

2. Write up to 500 words about an item of clothing that is important to you or was important to you in the past. It could be an item of clothing of your own, or someone else’s.

3. Write 500 words about something or some things you’ve lost. This list may progress from material objects to less material losses.

4.  Write 500 words about things you’ve kept. Again your list may extend beyond concrete objects.

5. Write 500 words about a photograph, preferably from before your time—perhaps of your grandparents or parents. Do one or more of the following: describe the photograph so the reader can “see” it without seeing the photograph, imagine the occasion and scene (who took the photograph? when? where?) and the inner lives of the people in the photograph. What do you know about the later lives of those in the photograph that they don’t? What is visible in the image, what is not visible? What is the emotional significance of the photograph for you? (Fiction writers can take this in multiple directions. Imagine a story using a vintage photograph of people you don’t know. Or use a photograph of people you know but imagine the story of what didn’t happen. Or what they wished would happen.)