This is the story about how a writing prompt–or more precisely, a trio of writing prompts–came alive.
One of the blogs I follow is The New, Unofficial, On-Line Writers Guild. It’s relevant to my writing blog, not this one, but anyway, this blog publishes a fictional story every week, plus three prompts. These can be responded to in the usual style of prompts of WordPress. In a post a couple of months ago, the prompts went like this:
- 1. outside Halifax
- 2. no god worth worrying about
- 3. selling truth
I looked at the prompts and instantly, they formed a whole sentence in my mind:
There is no god worth worrying about selling truth outside Halifax.
Okay, it looks like a sentence, you think, but it is a tiny bit nonsensical. And what about it came alive?
Well, not only was it a line in my head, it was a situation I was able to picture quite clearly, and one that I was sure I’d actually seen in real life, with my own eyes. How?
Halifax is a town in Yorkshire, or in Nova Scotia, or wherever else, but here in UK it is also a bank. As banks usually do, they have branches in most town centres. So, that is the easily imaginable “outside Halifax” part. As for the god not worth worrying about selling truth, well, street Jesus freaks of all sorts are not an unusual sight here in Manchester. Strictly speaking, they’re probably not selling anything, not in the normal sense, in exchange for money, but they must want something from you, otherwise why would they stand there, shouting their preachings?
I knew I would be able to snap a pic that would encapsulate the three prompts in an ideal form. It was only a matter of time, and luck. And time and luck it was, while out on my lunch break about two weeks ago. Here is the photo:
They’re also standing where the tram lines divide, which, I like to think, adds a dramatic effect. And, of course, in true Manchester fashion, it’s raining.
The lake of fire probably won’t last long around here.
I’m not religious myself, but I showed this to a colleague who is a Christian, and she said the writing on the banner is untrue, because Jesus spreads love, not fear. He is all about forgiveness, not punishment. It certainly seems like the wrong message, even to a heathen like me.
It’s really… not worth worrying about. And I’m pretty sure it’s not the truth. What would some dude with an umbrella standing in the middle of Manchester know about it, anyway?
So that’s it, that is the story about how a trio of writing prompts came alive. Thank you for reading.
3 thoughts on “The Materialising Of A Prompt”
This is brilliant. Not the usual fare I’d expect from you. Your photos are normally quite serene; while this is more confrontational and provocative. I like where you took the prompts.
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Thank you, yes, it’s not my usual forte, though I like taking pictures of all sorts of random and silly things, come to think of it I haven’t posted any of those for a while, because I’ve not snapped anything particularly interesting (it’s just something you can’t force). Those prompts worked so well, it probably doesn’t happen often that they fit a particular situation.