Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s been way too long since I’ve written here, and I do have good reason. I’m super busy, but I’m not complaining! I’m happy to be busy: Teaching a lot of classes, Writing my own stuff, Directing a one-act play, among other things; and even though I think I can do everything that I want to do, and do it well…I come close, but sometimes something has to give…and unfortunately it’s been my devotion to this blog. Nevertheless, I refuse to give up on it as I know that there are those that utilize the prompts that I post, so I’m not promising to be here weekly, but I will pop in and post as many as I can, whenever I can.
With that said, and knowing all of us have a lot of things we juggle in life besides our writing, it got me to thinking about writing less. No, I’m not advocating that you stop writing so much but, instead, that you write shorter pieces. You see, if we all set out to write a novel, a full-length play, a standard short story, an epic poem, when we are busy it’s easy to become overwhelmed and instead just give up on writing at all.
I know that I steal away moments during the day, to write snippets of poems or an idea. And, lately, I’ve been working on a scene of a play in whatever stolen moments I can get. It does work, and those writings may not be finished pieces, but I know that when I do have more time I can go back in and clean them up…add to them if they need be, or maybe some of them will fit into the new brief genres: Flash Fiction, Short, Short Plays, Six-Word Memoirs, etc. These new genres are becoming all the rage, and there’s more and more places that are publishing these types of pieces.
Stealing time away to write is nothing new, one of my favorite poets, Frank O’Hara, wrote poetry on napkins during his lunch hour and some of those became collected as the Lunch Poems, and Ernest Hemingway has been attributed to writing one of the first six-word “novels:” For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn. And, I was told to be “more concise,” more than once by my late Shakespeare professor, that “it’s a meaningful art.” Check out a few of these for reference: Smith Magazine, Poetry Tweets, Brevity, Flash Fiction, 10 Minute Plays, Haiku. With this idea in mind, here are your prompts to try your hand at artfully concise writing.
“KISS: Keep it Short, Storyteller”
1) In your daybook write for 10 minutes on a story idea or a poem. After 10 minutes is up see if you can write that story/poem idea in a concise way: 140 characters, 6 words, flash fiction, a 1 page play, haiku style? Go for it!
2) Take some of your writings that you’ve done from other prompts, here on Writing Prompt Pit Stop or elsewhere, and see if you can turn one of those into a concise, short, short.
3) If you feel it goes against your grain to write anything shorter than a 12 page story or a 40 line poem, explore that in your daybook. Interview yourself – or your character.
4) Share your concise works here in comments if you’re so inclined – or try to find a home for them. There’s always a contest or opportunity for your work somewhere – if you keep revising your work, believing in your work, and seek that place out.
See you again, soon!