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Chalk Figure on a Hillside: A Writing Prompt for Prose, Poetry or Non-Fiction
What can you make of this?
Time for a Challenge!
I've just been going through my hubs, updating author biographies amongst other things. I noticed that I've taken part in many challenges but not issued any of my own for a while. So here's one to get you going, I hope. Base your response on the photo above, 'The Long Man of Wilmington'. You may include the photo if you wish, with suitable attribution please.
A challenge is designed to test, to dare, to inspire, to enthuse. Get your thinking chapeaux on! Make your fingers dance over the keyboard! Create your best piece of writing yet!
Rules? What rules? Fiction, non-fiction, poetry or prose, just go with the flow!
Study the photo, use the information about it if you want or make it something entirely different. Look at the whole scene, the detail, the minutiae. Look at the shapes, the lines, the earth, the sky.
Try out a few tangents if you're not sure - write a paragraph for each and see what flows best, see what you're most comfortable with. Just let your mind run with itself and you'll probably be surprised at the results.
Here are a few suggestions to get you going. Please don't feel constrained by any of them; they are intended to act as extra prompts, should you need any.
Use your own Experience
Personal experience is often a good basis for a story, regardless of how you use it. Because you're familiar with it, you know what it feels like, you know why it happened, where it happened and the outcome, then you're more likely to write with more depth, more passion, more confidence. However, make yourself vary it. Add other dimensions, bring in other characters. Put it in another place.
Long ago, in another Galaxy!
Use the Elements
Decide on the weather, not by merely saying it was cold, hot, raining, hailing.... but by describing what it felt like, what it did to you or others, what difference it made to the surroundings. I don't know about you but the weather has a huge effect on me; it can make me feel irritable, nervy, blissful, excited or worried.
Immerse yourself in place and time, set your scene as you want it and make sure there is continuity in your detail.
ElementalClick thumbnail to view full-size
Are we going to read something amusing or something disturbing? Will we be made to feel happy or annoyed, thoughtful or galvanised into action?
The mood can be helped by colours, by surroundings, by others' reactions. You might contrast moods or one could dominate with dire consequences!
MoodsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Your piece could cover a particular span of time: a day, a week or much longer. It could be a modern setting or a historical one. It might be in a fictional time and space. Whatever you choose, make it credible. If you believe in it and can see it clearly, then so will the reader.
What's the Time?
Use Texture & Light
Texture can say a lot about an object, a scene, a person. Smooth, rough, knobbly, patterned, it can reflect mood, character or possibility.
Light also creates mood. Light and shade will provide contrast for your characters and your scenes. It will lift or it will cloak.
Soft or Hard? Clear or Shaded?
How are you going to approach this? Will you use the figure as a focus for others? Will you use it as the main character? Will you explore how he got there and why? Will you take the lie of the land as your scene or somewhere nearby?
What will you put into your picture? Consider occupations, problems, interactions, social connotations, history.
The list goes on!
Over to You!
Ok, enough of my suggestions. The rest is up to you. You no doubt already have ideas of your own. Take them and run with them. I'm looking forward to reading them. If you want to write two or more, feel free! Experiment with the genres.
Have fun, use new expressions, be sparing with your words to best effect!
I'll give links to any responses at the end of this hub. Please let me know if you do take up this challenge, in case I happen to miss any.
Responses to the Challenge
Do you like a challenge?
© 2017 Ann Carr