Monday, February 22, 2010

The Fall: A Screenshot in Time

Our life experiences color our writing. When we've experienced something, it is easier to provide realistic detail to our writing. Today's prompt is going to draw from one such experience.

Think about the last time your fell. As an adult, we don't fall often. I remember one time when I still worked a 9 to 5 and went to collect the mail for my department. Back then I wore heels and a business suit with a skirt.

My arms full of mail, I walked toward my cubicle to sort and distribute. Along with loose envelopes, I juggled a couple of boxes. With the mound clutched in my arms, I didn't see a misplaced wastebasket in the middle of the aisle. My shin rammed into the metal edge of the wastebasket. The pain shocked me. Boxes tumbled through the air, mail burst like fireworks and scattered, and my mind told me I was going down. I slammed into the floor, clasping the remaining envelopes to my chest. People rushed to my side. "Are you okay?"

I shot to my hands and knees and collected the mail. "Good thing I had my arms full, or I would have tried to catch myself and probably broke my wrists!"

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You see how this could be developed into a story? I've fallen twice since then over the following 20 years. I remember the experiences clearly. It's amazing what details run through your head while it is happening. It's kind of like taking a screenshot in time.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt

Think of a time when you fell. It can be anytime in life. Did you ever fall while riding your bike? Climbing a tree? On the ice? Did a fall ever leave you embarrassed? Get you dirty? Hurt?

Write a scene that uses details from your experience. This can be a true slice-of-life vignette, or a fictional piece.

Donna Sundblad
Author of Pumping Your Muse

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Check out my latest interview at Stories That Read You.And my 4 star review for Beyond the Fifth Gate at Teens Read Too!