Microblog Monday – Writing Prompt and a new short story

Last month, some of the members of my local writers’ group decided they wanted to start doing a monthly writing prompt. It then occurred to me that I haven’t written a new short story since I moved away from my other writing group, seven or so years ago!

Since I already posted a few of my older results on my Short Stories page, I thought I’d include this one as well. First, this is the “assignment” I came up with for the group –

WRITING PROMPT FOR JULY

As mentioned in the meeting notes, we’ve decided to offer a monthly writing prompt for the group. Here’s how it works –

~ Using the prompt below, write a short story (1,000 words or less) and post your result to the Yahoo email loop (not to this group) by July 4th.

~ Read other member’s results, and come up with at least one positive note for the story (“Your dialog works very well”) and one critique (“Your paragraphs are too long”). You can either reply through the email loop, or at our next meeting.

~ You don’t have to write a story in order to offer notes on other stories. Readers are always welcome.

~ Participation is completely voluntary.

Now, for the prompt. I wrote this as a hat tip to the first prompt we did years ago for the Raymond Writing Group. Hope you have fun with it!

You’re browsing through the books at your local library or bookstore. A title catches your eye, and you take it from the shelf – as soon as you open the cover, a sealed envelope falls out. What is in the envelope and how did it end up inside the book?

To be honest, I finished mine a day late, and 127 words over the limit, but it felt good to shake the rust off a bit. If you’re interested in reading my mental knuckle-cracking, I added it on my aforementioned short story page, but if you click HERE, it will bring you directly to the story.

Do you enjoy doing writing prompts/exercises? If so, what are some of your favorites?
New short story - Envelope Writing Prompt

New short story #MicroblogMondays
“Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is?
Read the inaugural post which explains
the idea and how you can participate too.”
~ Melissa S. Ford, Stirrup Queens

14 comments

  1. There are times where the words just seem to flow. But too often, it can be hard to meet these deadlines. Still, you did it! That’s an accomplishment. Clicking over now to read your piece.

  2. Oh, I love prompts! This one is awesome…so many possibilities for the envelope, and I love the touch of magic you added in your piece. My favorite prompt (that we do in school, actually) is the 6-word memoir, originally done by Ernest Hemingway…the concise and gut-wrenching “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” They don’t have to be quite that sad, but it’s a great exercise for brevity (something I need help with).

    • Thank you, Jess! I’ve thought about doing those 6 words stories before, and there’s supposedly an ongoing Twitter challenge to create a full piece in 140 characters, but they’re a bit too short for me. I have an issue with brevity as well, but I find the smallest I can go is flash fiction. Maybe some day. 🙂

  3. I hear you about shaking off the rust! I started Camp Nano this year just to do that. (It’s slow going, but real life is taking precedence.) Fun prompt!

  4. I enjoy prompts when I need to get the ball rolling. Sometimes the ideas come fast and furious. And sometimes you need that push. Congratulations! I’m coming back for the story.

  5. Shaking off the rust is always good. I love prompts. I’m very tempted to try this one! Good for you – I’m definitely going to read your story.

  6. That’s a fantastic prompt! A true story sort of like this happened to me. I bought a book at a local used bookstore. Inside was an inscription from the author to the previous owner. On the one hand, it made me feel like an invader of someone’s privacy. On the other, I found the inscription endearing. It reminded me of how books live on and speak to all of us in a language only we–the individual reader–can understand.

Feel free to shout out!

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