Writing the Uncomfortable
Writing the uncomfortable, the awkward, the tense!
Jump in. Every writer has experienced the fear of the blank page at some point. Just like facing a cool lake for a swim, sometimes you just have to jump in! You'll never get in the water if you think about how cold it will be or the hard rocks at the bottom or the water snakes! Yes, sometimes there are water snakes!
The same is true for writing. Try not to think too much about what you are writing about while you're doing it and instead just write. Don't analyze it. Don't critique it. Don't worry about the snakes. There will be time for that later.
Make a list of five situations you've been in where you have felt uncomfortable, awkward, or tense.
Pick one and brainstorm for five to ten minutes answering these questions:
Where were you?
Who were you with?
What was the context of the situation?
What was said?
What did you see, hear, smell, touch, or taste in the moment?
If you could relive this situation over, what would you do differently?
What would you do the same?
How was the situation resolved?
How did you feel about it in the moment, months later, years later?
By answering these questions, you've set up the premise and structure of your story. You populated it with characters and have given it a setting grounded in sensory description. You have snippets of dialogue. And you have a resolution.
Use some of this brainstorming material and write either a flash fiction story (under 500 words) or the beginning of a longer short story.
Make us feel as uncomfortable as you felt in that situation.
Let me know how this prompt worked for you.
"Waiting for Adnan" by Hajera Khaja, Joyland Magazine
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