Writing Outside the Lines – A Writing Prompt Suggestion to Get Your Juices Flowing

I made it almost twelve days without coffee. Today, I had 2 cups and am bouncing off the walls full of ideas. Poor Matt! My list of “to-dos” is 2 pages long. That counts as writing, right?

Would you be surprised if I said, “yes”? Writing doesn’t always have to be journalistic, stream of conscious, or premeditated. Writing anything down, in any format, can get your juices flowing. Need a writing prompt? Try using your “To Do” list.

For example, you might have “set the menu for the week.” Are you planning an intimate dinner for two? Are the two people married or single? If they’re married are they having trouble, have secrets, or still like newlyweds after twenty-five years? If they’re single, how did they meet? Are they a mismatch or unusually paired? How would they act? What might they say, do, or think about the other? Where are they? Are they at home, in a restaurant, or at a sidewalk cafe in New York or Paris?

Let’s expand a bit. What if you’re planning a dinner party? Are they neighbors, friends, or family? Is it a backyard barbeque? A celebration? Or is it simply a get-together to rehash old memories? Are there old secrets to be resolved or kept secret at any cost? Is it a coming-of-age tale told through memories or set in the present?

For either, what would happen if there was a news alert, a gunshot, or someone expected came to the door or walked into the restaurant? I love action/adventure, so imagine all three – “We hadn’t seen Amy and Andrew in over a decade. As they walked toward us something looked…off. We glanced at one another, our eyes reflecting the same question, what had they been up to all these years? Dressed in street clothes, they looked out of place, their eyes seemed to look everywhere at once. Where they in trouble? A breaking news alert played over the bar in the background. We invited them to sit down and after a few pleasantries, we asked what they’d been up to. I shivered as their tale unfolded and wish I hadn’t asked. But, when the gunshots started I was terrified. Somehow, we were no longer listening to the story, we were in it, and I wondered if we’d survive.”

How would you expand on the story? Where might it go? What might you use for a writing prompt from your to-do list? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Break a Pencil!

© Lisa Street Rogers 2018