Prompts

1. Choose a character who’s a legend (Paul Bunyan or the Loch Ness monster), a literary creation (Dracula or Frankenstein’s monster) or a pop culture figure (GI Joe or Barbie) and put them in some situation that inherently ironic–Barbie at her fortieth high school reunion or Dracula as an employee at a Red Cross blood bank—and write the persona poem or flash.

2. Write a story or poem from the point of view of we, a group that for whatever reason is speaking as a collective.

3. You are a participant in some traumatic event, real or imagined. The event can be natural (an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a typhoon, a monsoon), manmade (a plane crash, a terrorist attack, a hostage crisis) or personal. Narrate the chain of events from a second person point of view. Be as descriptive as possible about what’s happening. The challenge is to stay in the second person point of view and to use the understated detachment of second person to emphasize the drama of the narrative (without succumbing to melodrama).  

Hint: Second person is more easily handled in present tense. 

4. Write a poem or a short piece of prose in second person about something you or your character is embarrassed about/ashamed of. 

5. This exercise worked for me and I hope the same for you: Take a piece of writing that you’ve given up on for whatever reason and recast it in second person. Intersperse that with lines from found texts to create a braided narrative whose parts juxtapose to create a narrative that’s thematically larger than its parts.