Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fiction prompts, part 2.

Hello again. Time has gotten away from me once again, but here is another group of writing prompts that spoke to me, courtesy of Figment Fiction.

Focus on an important life milestone (a birth, a wedding, a funeral). Slow time down to a crawl and zero in on the most important moment in that event. Describe in wrenchingly specific detail what goes on in those minutes. You can focus on many characters or stick to the perspective of just one.

My head is spinning as I carefully take the tiny bundle from the nurse’s arms. Tiny squeaks are emitting from the occupant of the blanket-cocoon as I try to act like I’ve ever held something so tiny before in my life. My hand trembles as I brush the blanket back from her face. Still red from her long struggle for independence, she settles quickly into my chest. No one else could be in the room, as far as I’m concerned; I only have eyes for her. Her eyes are fluttering as she blinks in the bright light of the hospital room. I try to make out their color, but as yet they are quite dark, almost black, with lashes that would make models jealous. Fuzzy dark hair covers her head, sticking out at every possible angle. I bend down to touch my cheek to her head. Velvet feels like sandpaper compared to that baby hair. She smells amazing--an unearthly sweet smell I have never before experienced. I realize that I’ve just spent what seems like an eternity just staring at my baby, but I should talk to her, let her hear the voice she’s spent so many months hearing from the inside. Putting my lips to her tiny, shell-like ear, I whisper with a lump forming in my throat, “Welcome to the world, baby girl. Mama and Daddy love you more than anything, and we’ll love you no matter what.”
 Go back to the important life milestone you focused on yesterday (a birth , a wedding, a funeral). Now speed the event up. It’s going so rapidly that you’re only able to capture snippets of action and dialogue. What are the moments that stand out? What makes it into your retelling of this event?

“It’s a girl!”
The parents’ eyes well up with tears.
“She’s perfect!” exclaims Grandma.
“What’s her name?” asks Dr. Green.
“S-Sybil,” Dad manages to answer.
“We’ll just clean her up and give her right back to you,” the nurse explains.
“Oh!” Grandma croons, snapping a few pictures.
The nurse hands the baby back to her mother, who can’t take her eyes off the new person she created.

“Welcome to the world, baby girl. Mama and Daddy love you more than anything, and we’ll love you no matter what.” Mom can only tear her eyes away from the baby long enough to give her husband his first kiss as a full-fledged father.

Write an active scene entirely in dialogue. No quotation marks; no he said-she said; no description of action—just the words the characters say. Don't explicitly tell us what the activity is, but through your characters' dialogue, make it clear what they're doing.

--How much longer?
--Just relax and try to keep up.
--Man, anyone who says this is easy is kidding themselves.
--Ha ha!
--Can’t we just slow down for a minute?
--Nope. You asked me to help, so I’m helping.
--I’m beginning to regret that.
--Really? c’mon, you can’t be serious.
--I guess not...but you’re making this really hard.
--That’s what she said!
--Har har har.
--Okay, I’ll slow down for a second. But then we’ll do a sprint at the end.
--Race you to the top of the hill!

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