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Newsletter: 13/2/16: Figment Theme Prompts for Feb. 11 — 15

Hi everyone,

What a great weekend. I took a class for a walk yesterday afternoon. It was nice to get out, if not a bit dangerous and messy with all the slush and puddles we had to transverse.

The increase in daylight and the challenges of navigating the melting snow with a class of mischievous kids strangely portend the first two Figment prompts this week. We are asked to imagine a world with no night and write about a 24 hour period on this world. How is this possible? Why 24 hours? How do plants live (they need darkness to survive)? How did/do people navigate/migrate without stars? What is life in this world like? We are asked next to solve a problem through our characters and so build our characters as they face adversity.

The third and last prompts are picture prompts designed to inspire our imaginations. In the last prompt we are given a photograph; in the third prompt we are asked to find a piece of art that appeals or repels us. Images seem to awaken our creative juices. Perhaps their openness to interpretation; their sense of neutral being, rather than demanding challenge; their ability to offer possibilities regardless of subtlety and obscurity give us the freedom to envision these possibilities and interpretations and build from them. This echoes the description I offered a few newsletters ago (Jan. 7 — 11) about the uniqueness of poetry and prose from the perspective of the creator and each reader. We all see different things and read different stories. As I said in my Jan. 12 letter, when you think about it, this openness is pretty cool.

Lauren Oliver offers this week’s Figment opening line, only, like the third prompt that asked us to find pieces of art to inspire us, here we are asked to come up with our own opening line within the parameters set before us.

In all these cases, these prompts ask for a poem, a story or a non-fictional response. I hope you find these prompts challenging and fun. Enjoy.

So, how did you like those prompts? Did any spark an urge to write in you? I would like to end this letter with a tweet from Ksenia Anske, a fantasy writer in Seattle, Washington.

@kseniaanske@thewritegroup: @kseniaanske Why do you write?” Because if I don’t, stories will burst me to pieces. And them stomp on my remains.

Here’s hoping stories — whether prosaic or poetic — do not stomp on your remains. Have a great week, enjoy the weather and keep writing,
Shawn

Att: Feb 11-15, 2013 Figments

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