Friday, June 07, 2013

Show Paranormal Activity

Today's writing prompt is centered around paranormal activity. This is an exercise in showing what many times can't be seen. Even if you don't write horror, fantasy, or ghost stories, this prompt is a good way to stretch your writing by showing and not telling.

Write a scene or short story that includes at least three of the following: 
  • Psychokinetic phenomena: When you hear a door open that engages the sense of hearing, but when you see the door open all by itself, that also engages the sense of the unknown. Psychokinetic phenomena is a great way to introduce the presence of something otherworldly. It might even include feeling something bump, or brush against, but nothing is there.
  • Unexplained sounds: This can include muffled voices, cries, whispers, music. Think of a whisper calling a name, a music box playing a melody from a bygone era…there are endless possibilities.
  • Unexplained temperature changes: Have a character experience sudden cold (or hot) spot. This is a classic haunting symptom. And remember don't just say they felt a sudden chill. Show the cold. Can they see their breath?
  • Poltergeist phenomena: This is more extreme than Psychokinetic phenomena. Picture furniture sliding across the room…it might even slam into the wall.
  • Physical assault: This is a rarer form of paranormal activity but is often part of horror. It can include cuts, scratches, slaps, and hard shoves. It might even lead to the death of a character.
  • Apparitions: Physical manifestation of the entity. Is it a misty form? As it takes shape is it human or something else? Does it look transparent or solid?

Photo credits: Ajnagraphy'
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