Unlock the Muse – May 23, 2018

This weekend, in the United States, we will celebrate Memorial Day – a day set aside to honor those who died in service to their country. Born out of the Civil War, it was originally called Decoration Day and was “designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in the defense of their country.” (General John Logan, 1868)

Here is this week’s random writing prompt:

What event would you never write about, and why?

I’m not sure how to answer this. If it is something I would never write about, how can I possibly answer? Doesn’t that mean I will have to write about it?

What is it you will not write about? War? Joining the circus? Your high school reunion? The death of a loved one?

In Brian Kiteley’s 3 A.M. Epiphany, this exercise appears in the chapter on Women and Men, which deals with “ways of seeing.”

Write a short scene in which a woman becomes invisible briefly, for no explained reason. I leave it up to you what she will observe in her state of lucidity and transparency: her boyfriend’s or husband’s or male friend’s life, a short scene of men without women, or a scene of another woman and her man (innocent or not). No one can see or hear her. She is not a ghost, and at the end of your narrative, return her to her fully fleshed out self, again with no explanations. In other words, don’t worry too much about the problem of imperceptibility. Just jump into the story and follow its political, rather than science fiction, consequences. 600 words.

I will leave you this week with a quote from one of my favorite authors. And, since I’ve been reading vampire stories, I thought it should have something to do with those fascinating creatures of the night.

Fantasy is my favorite genre for reading and writing. We have more options than anyone else, and the best props and special effects. That means if you want to write a fantasy story with Norse gods, sentient robots, and telepathic dinosaurs, you can do just that. Want to throw in a vampire and a lesbian unicorn while you’re at it? Go ahead.
Patrick Rothfuss

Happy writing!

Please consider sharing your response to the writing exercise. Got a question? Just ask! Put it in the comments below, or send your question by email here:


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