An Old Painting As A Writing Prompt?

Surfing the internet isn’t always a waste of time. I was looking for something when I ran across the image of an old painting, namely ‘Gothic Church Ruins’, painted by Carl Blechen in 1826. (And yes, I’m permitted to use the picture for free without copyright problems, since the copyright has been ‘outdated’). However, that’s not the question at this moment.

Earlier this year, namely in March, when I was in the hospital for several days I drafted the outlines and main characters for three new books, which surprised me very much. (Apparently being in the hospital gave me an unexpected creativity boost) I have continued working on my books, but I only have limited time. And then, after I saw this old painting, I got lost in my fantasies.

Immediately I had visions of beautiful spiritual creatures and forms living in and around these, once handmade, structures, that are now claimed back by nature. Of course, fantasies alone don’t make for a story yet, but in many ways, Carl Blechen’s work has given me an amazing input to mine.

Now, when it comes to ‘Writing Prompt’… what is the meaning of it? Yes, I think, most of us know what it means… it’s generally of help to us, when our writer’s brain goes blank (which very rarely happens), but that’s another story…

According to the ‘Freelance Writing-Love-to-know’ website, a writing prompt is ‘usually a statement followed by questions you can use to craft a piece.’ Simple, and to the point.

Would I need a writing prompt to develop and have ideas? Usually, I don’t. But then, I’m a writer… some input is good for me. I’m sometimes afraid, I keep on writing within the same ‘drawer’ and am completely untalented for other pieces of work. That’s one of the reasons, why I decided to ‘break away’ from ‘The Concil of Twelve’ series for a few pieces, to see, if I can write different stories.

That particular picture gave me another idea. We are now talking about staying faithful to the genre, but still, writing outside of my series. I’m not sure yet, how that story is going to be, and in what direction it’s headed. But I’m sure, with time, we are going to find out.

Picture courtesy of Carl Blechen (1798 – 1840)

How do you try to find inspiration, when you’re running dry of ideas? Do you use writing prompts? If yes, where do you find them? Let us know in the comments, we’re curious!

Blogger Prompt Chain

Do you remember, September 9, 2017 I published a blog post which was supposed to be the start of a ‘Blogger Prompt Chain’. Today I discovered Rachel Poli, one of the invited writers, has taken the chance to publish an amazing letter to her sister. Please read it on her blog – and I’m enthusiastic that the chain has been started. Thank you, Rachel, you rock!!

Blogger Prompt Chain

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Today I was reading about ‘Writing Prompts.’ I think we, as writers, know what they are. I was looking for something to blog about and thought maybe I’d find a prompt that can help me.

And all of a sudden I had an idea. I thought, why not inviting other writers, share these writing prompts with them and invite them to participate in kind of a ‘story collection’ under this one banner “Blogger Prompt Chain.”

I don’t want to make it too complicated. I don’t know if it even works, but I think it might be worth a try. I’m sure, some of the invited writers and bloggers won’t have the time to participate or don’t like the idea, and the chain might meet a dead end. But I would be curious how many like it.

What do you think, are you in?

(And I’m not going to be angry about any writer or blogger who’d like to accept the challenge without invitation. Just let me know so I can read your story, please!)

 

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Rules:

1. Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from here)
2. Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
3. After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered)
4. Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
5. Publish the five writing prompts and rules!

Prompts:

a) The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.

b) Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene

c) Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.

d) At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.

e) The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.

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My choice: “The Letter All Writers Should Write”

Dear Sister,

I think it’s time you get this letter from me. I have been thinking about it for a long time, but I always feared I would forget something or be unable to express my feelings the way they should be expressed when it comes to you. And that’s why I’d like to start in our childhood.

Remember these times when we were sitting on the ground between the upstairs shower and my little bedroom in our pajamas, and you listened to the stories I told you? I know, it was a long time ago, but I still remember some of these stories, and I blush thinking about it. But I knew and know until now that you will never repeat one of them, that’s why I don’t need to worry.

A few years later, when I felt like writing, started with that one children’s story and poems you read them with interest and told me when you liked or disliked them.

It was you, years later, who recommended me to re-start writing, when I sank into depression, and it was you who encouraged me to go on and not stop until my stories were told.

Remember when I told you, that this one book I wrote ‘doesn’t feel right’? You advised me to set it aside until I’m ready to pick it up again and then decide what I’d do with it.

No matter what happened with us and where our path took us – you always were there for me, encouraging me, helping me, supporting me, advising me and no matter when I call I know you always take time.

I am very, very proud to have you as my sister and not ‘only’ a sister, but also my very best friend!
I love you!

Yours forever

AJ

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The five writers/bloggers I would like to invite to follow the ‘Blogger Prompt Chain’ are the following:

 

  1. Author Rachel Poli
  2. Author Renee Scattergood
  3. Author Joy Lennick
  4. Author Kitt Crescendo
  5. Writer Sharon K. Connell

 

Thank you for participating. 🙂