The power just went out for no apparent reason, and my battery is at 43%. I have little time to write a 500-word post. How about doing a sprint, and come up with as many words as I can in a limited amount of time? It’s a good way for me—and you—to practice writing on the spot.
How do I start, though? I previously mentioned a great book, called The Writer’s 1001 Book of Matches, which is filled with prompts. It’s a great way to get the ideas flowing. Even if the words sound ridiculous at the time you pen them, the exercise is not aimed at having you write something sensible, but at making you think fast, and write what you see in your mind’s eye.
Let’s try a random one: page 106 says:
A woman digging in her garden uncovers a sealed, ancient box. Slowly, she lifts it up. Surprised by its lightness, she sets it on the ground beside her, removes her gloves, and for a moment, stares at the lock. It’s old and rusty. She brushes the dirt off the top of the box, revealing some kind of patterned design, unfamiliar to her. Foreign writing, perhaps? A dent shows where her spade made contact with the delicate wood, and marred it.
The sun breaks through the clouds. What looks like flakes peels from the lock, and falls in the grass, still damp with the morning dew. The latch pops open.
She dusts the cover once more before opening it. Several small mesh bags of seeds sit inside, a red ribbon tied into a bow, near the top of each one. Taped inside the cover is an envelope. Unmarked. She wipes her hands on her pants before pulling it off. A sweet fragrance fills her nostrils. She breathes in deeply. What is it? Lavender? Honeysuckle? She opens the envelope and pulls out a threefold pink sheet of paper. She reads the two lines, and bursts into a fit of laughter. “The power is back on. You can now resume your blogging duties.”
Okay so that’s a silly ending to the story but the power came back minutes ago and that’s what popped in my head. I didn’t want to stop, and try to come up with a different idea.
Thhe whole point of a sprint is writing what comes to mind, when it does.
What did you imagine when you first read the prompt? Is she an older woman? Young? Mine is about 20, with long blonde hair. She’s sitting on her knees on the ground.
What did you see in the box? Precious jewels? Was it empty? I saw a red velvety lining. Not sure why I didn’t write it down.
Now it’s your turn. Set a timer to 15 minutes. See how many words you can pen in that short amount of time. Don’t stop. Don’t edit as you go.
Randomly opening the book to…… page 186:
After a violent thunderstorm, a man finds a rain-soaked diary among the debris in his backyard.