Prompt: Snowed In

toa-heftiba-511308-unsplash

The day we were snowed in…

 

Finish this prompt in 200 words or less! Email us and we will post your entries OR post in comments.

Hope Everyone has an amazing break Winter Break!

Happy Holidays! 

SP Staff

thespinningpen@gmail.com

 

 

Advertisements

Writing Prompt: Chocolate Chips

pam-menegakis-388875-unsplash.jpg

“Chocolate Chips”

What scene does this prompt in you?

Write your “prompt reply” in 200 words or less and post it in the comments below!

Go!

#writingchallenge

#practiceyourcraft

#writingcommunity

Example prompt & quick note by SP staff, Nova McBee Continue reading

Prompt Reply: In Hiding

in-hiding

Thank you to all of you who participated in our Prompt!

We selected Lily Cushman’s to share:

 

As I descended the crude man-made trail through the ruined city, pungent scents of smoke and mildew sting my nose. Graffiti filled walls guide me to the once safe haven to find a young soldier, very young, gasping for air on the ground, lying in pooled blood, though whether it was all his own blood I couldn’t tell. The smoke was thicker around here, reminders of the firefight we had interrupted with our medical helicopter mission. 

 I knelt beside him, QuikClot gauze in my hands and my jump kit heavy on my shoulders, filled with my field gear, IVs, medicines, bandages. Do you know how many pounds medics carry on a battlefield? I don’t know, but it’s a lot. A lot for my skinny person. 

 The soldier looked at me, fear and hope in his eyes. He didn’t say anything, but I could tell he could see me. That was a good sign. If he started babbling about seeing lights and such I would worry more. 

 “Hey,” I said as gently as I could. “I’m a medic. I’m here to help you. We are going to help you so you can go home. You read me, buddy?”

 He nodded vaguely. I gave him a small smile and then started looking at the damage. There were multiple gunshot wounds, and some lacerations on his hands and face. He was in bad shape, bleeding a lot, and his breathing was ragged. But I had seen worse. I started treating with QuikClot, a gauze that helped stop bleeding quickly, and then bandaged the small cuts on his face. The bullet holes, beyond QuikClot, could not be treated anymore effectively at this point. I started getting a 20 GA needle, an extension set and a saline bag ready so I could start an IV. 

 “I won’t – die?” He asked quietly. 

 I looked down into his face, and saw the hope taking over the fear in his eyes. You’re never supposed to lie to a patient or tell them something you don’t already know the answer to. But I had hope. Hope that he would pull through. Not just hope like ‘I hope it won’t rain this weekend.’ A genuine hope, like a ray of light piercing a dark cloud cover. A glimmer of good after so much evil. 

 “You’re going to be fine.” I said. I squeezed his hand and he squeezed back. “We are going to get you home. Home to your family. I promise.” 

 Hope filled his whole face, even during the pain. 

 Hope is a gift, and when you can give it, it gives you a little hope as well. Hope that the darkness you face every day in everything won’t win. Hope that life is worth living, it’s worth pushing through the hellishness to see a hurting person smile, a broken heart be healed, beauty pulled from the ugliness that is rampant around our world. 

 As I descended the crude man-made trail through the ruined city, pungent scents of smoke and mildew sting my nose. Graffiti filled walls guided me to the once safe haven to find hope. Hope even in the despair. 

 

Prompt: In Hiding

in hiding.jpg

As I descend a crude manmade trail through the ruins of the city, pungent scents of smoke and mildew sting my nose. Graffiti filled walls guide me to the once safe haven to find… 

 

Hey Pen Friends,

It’s Prompt time again! Finish this prompt in 500 words or less –then send it into the Spinning Pen @ thespinningpen@gmail.com. We may select yours to publish on our blog along with our in-house prompt writer, Noah Dingman’s prompt!

Enjoy practicing your craft!

author-nova-mcbee

Nova, signing off

 

 

 

What I Learned from Writing Prompts & A Prompt: Brothers

13095851_10209811895834485_2601360692992768766_n

Prompt: Brothers

When we were young, after Dad left and Mom checked out, my brother was my superhero. He wasn’t scared of anything. With his arm on my shoulder, night never felt dark; wind never howled; lightening never cracked–it sang to us. Just like adventure did. But now, seeing the look on my brother’s face, I know something’s wrong…
Complete this prompt in 250 words or less and send it to thespinningpen@gmail.com to be posted!

What I learned from Writing Prompts:

Pen Friends ~ Our understanding and experience is that many novels have come out of prompts. That is why we encourage writers to try it out! We asked a few other writers to share how writing prompts have helped them grow as writers and here are their responses.
“With each prompt I write, I gain more experience and explore new genres, age groups and topics. I love how it stretches me as a writer and opens up new possibilities. But my favorite part is the creative aspect: I get to explore a new world in each story I never considered before!”
Ruby Ma

“Initially, I was fearful that the motion of life would water-down my passion for writing, but I was, gladly, wrong! Away from the oppressive regime called an institution, I realized that I had the freedom to create in ways that I have never experienced, and Spinning Pen became a platform for my bursts of creativity.

I would read the prompts that are posted and be so excited at the countless possibilities of how stories could continue and end. These prompts took me on terrains and adventures that I only dreamed of. I was reminded that smaller writing projects did not have to compromise on well-constructed dialogues, tension between character relationships; establishing mood and tone; staging movements and setting. I love the process of creating a short story with a powerful punch.”

Krystal Keith

I haven’t always been a fan of writing prompts. They remind me of school when the teacher gave us “Writing Topics,” thus thwarting my creativity once again. But as I’ve developed my writing technique and matured as a writer, I see their value.

A prompt is a great way to push yourself into doing something that’s not necessarily “your thing.” It’s challenging. And it is in those moments I find inspiration or motivation. When I’ve attempted a prompt that isn’t my genre or has word limits (the flash fictions kill me!) I always come away with some sort of small victory. Whether I’ve completed and submitted something I’m proud of, or only got half way through before realizing this isn’t for me, I’ve still put words to page, I’ve still worked my creative muscles. Almost always I come away with an idea for a WIP or a new project later on. It is these things that I value.

So maybe a prompt isn’t your cup of tea but I encourage you to try. You never know what you might find at the bottom.

Hilary Bowen

Once I was challenged to write a dual POV prompt. What I didn’t know is that it helped me discover how to round out the worlds that I create. I was forced to see everything twice. I noticed—and thus, my characters noticed—more details, creating a more believable space for the reader to inhabit.

The dual P.O.V. prompt could have been my worst nightmare as a writer, or it could be the most fun I’ve ever had with a prompt: Think about exploring your world from two angles: a complete stranger, only just arrived; or as someone who has lived there, breathing the air their entire life. How would you see things?

Perhaps, as a visitor, you would see everything in great detail. Or maybe you would be so overwhelmed that everything was a blur. As a longtime resident, perhaps there are familiar details that you always notice, while other things, like the street you live on, or the color of the sky have faded to the background.

This prompt led to my very first completed manuscript, which I’m about to query. Sometimes, writers just need a bit of a kick start to get going!

author-nova-mcbee

Nova, signing off.

 

Nothing like my World: Dual POV Prompt

Pen Friends ~ We would like to try something new ~ a dual POV Prompt! Here’s how to do it…

First choose the world from one of these two pictures, then write 250 words from these two POVs below:

 

POV 1: “It was nothing like my world…” (*You are a visitor to this world. Everything is new. Show us what you see, hear, taste, touch, feel, how it contrasts with your world, who you meet, etc…)

POV 2: “This is my world…” (*You grew up in this world. You are very familiar with its geography, culture. You know what kids do growing up, what dangers lurk, what sounds there are, etc. Show us your world.)

Send your prompts to thespinningpen@gmail.com — we want to read and post them!

A Prompt-Reply: Spies

Their ideal base for retreat and restocking for the next mission.

The mountains were green, thick, and peaceful. It was hard to believe that danger was not far from us. I dipped my hand into the water-blue, clear, and icy-cold. The water had kept us alive; it brought our supplies, and it would carry us toward our mission tonight.

The very element that offered protection ushered us into unknown territories. I want to scream, kick, and rebel against the command that we need to not only accomplish this task but succeed. Continue reading

Prompt: Snow

snow-city

Stories got passed down, one way or another, about the days when the city used to be full of sunshine and warmth, instead of dark clouds and snow. If you got overheard talking about the myths, though, you’d be knocked soundly on the head, and told to stop dreaming…

What happens next?

Finish this prompt in 500 words or less and email it to thespinningpen@gmail.com – selected prompts will be featured on our blog.

Good luck writers!

Best Christmas (or Holiday) Story Ever Contest

a18

Away from Home for the Holidays

Details: For the holiday season, we would love two things: a story that will draw us into all of those sentiments surrounding Christmas or the holiday season. Makes us yearn for home. Make us laugh. Make us cry, or both! As for the second, we want a challenge! We want to practice writing something we might not write otherwise. Join us!

Rules: In 2500 words or less, give us your best story based on the theme: Away from Home for the Holidays. Send your story to thespinningpen@gmail.com

Deadline: December 23 at 12 noon Pacific time is the last day you can turn in your story.

Prize: The winning story will be posted on our blog and all social media sites ON CHRISTMAS DAY for everyone to read. *We will also give you feedback on your writing and why we chose your story.

Surprise: We will post something unexpected that day — so watch for it!

Prompt: Thanksgiving

photo-1474221550179-c492fb337327

They were all there, ringed around the table and chatting between mouthfuls of mashed potatoes and turkey, all smiling and nodding, but I knew it was there hovering just beneath the surface. One word and everything would shatter…

What is the word? (And who are the people, for that matter)?

Finish this prompt in 500 words or less and email it to thespinningpen@gmail.com – selected prompts will be featured on our blog.

Good luck writers!