Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Writing Wednesday: Words with Friends Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are supposed to help a writer get into the writing spirit. At the very least, it's a lot more productive than looking at a blank Word document and going, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit, oh shit." Unfortunately, I haven't done a writing prompt since my senior year creative writing course.

Thankfully, like Alec Baldwin, I love Words with Friends. I tend to play with a lot of fellow former English majors. Last month, one of said Friends suggested that, at the end of our current game, we should each take 15 random words and write a short story. I upped the ante and said that we should pick the words out first (instead of scanning the board and thinking what could fit) and write our short story in one take -- no rough drafts, no multiple writing sessions, no edits. Bonus points if you can get two (or more) words in the opening sentence.

This is what I came up with from that game. It's nothing to submit to The New Yorker over, but it was a great project and a great start to a very fun writing prompt tradition. And, since I have been a bit stagnant in writing Book #2 (specifically Chapter 3 of Book #2), I'm diving headfirst into this in the hopes that I can get back on track:

No * Joy * Elf * Dole * Heap * Bride * Below(s) * Build(s) * Flat * Weed * Aged * Sermon * Not * Sing * Due

There was no joy for the bride on her wedding day.

She had spent years planning it in her head, watching her friends go before her. Or technically after, walking down the aisle after the now-bride preceded them as a bridesmaid.

Years have gone by since the majority of her friends have been wed. My, how she aged! She had sworn she would someday meet the right guy -- that she would be able to weed out those who were less than perfect and find Mr. Right. She'd find him, she'd know right away, and right away she could build a life with him.

But that was not what life had in store for her. Instead of giving her a prince, life doled out years of loneliness and confusion and mixed feelings and heartbreak.

So things should've changed when she met Brandon. They met at church, no less. He came for the first time, heard her sing, and made his way to the choir's area by the end of the sermon.

He was a recent divorcee, and willing take her out even though her looks had fallen flat. So she really didn't have a choice but to agree. After nearly 40 years, a wedding was more than due. Right?

She had asked her friends -- at this point in their lives, looking more like mothers than bridesmaids -- to leave the room. Her legs gave way by the time the door closed behind her, her dress in a heap by her waist. She looked around, desperate to find a reason to stand back upon, before resting her eyes on the patio doors.

The bride gathered her dressed and walked onto the balcony. Below her was the hotel's back yard, its trimmed grass bordering a vast forest.

All at once she could see herself escaping through the woods, dancing like an elf from tree root to tree root, dirtying her gown with moss and bark, leaves gathering in the delicate spirals of her hair.

There was joy for the bride in that moment, as she gathered her dress even more, lifted herself off the edge, and flew off.

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