May 23, 2014 Prompt #23
Last night, I saw Venus in Fur at Denver’s Curious Theater. As an accompaniment to the show’s vigorous, changeable dialogue, the production included a thunderstorm. As I write this, back in Boulder, we’re having real live downpour, complete with rumbling thunder and flashbulb-style lightning. All this to say: Rain is on my mind. Its tension and variability (from mist to an out-and-out thunderstorm) can enrich your writing. Yes, if mishandled, it can become a cliche, but with practice, rain (and other weather events) can skillfully drive action or accentuate tone.
- Describe a light drizzle, steady downpour, late afternoon thunderstorm, or another kind of rain. Be sure to include sensory details, such as sound and smell, as well as the setting. (Rain in a city or desert is different than rain on a beach or against a farm house.) Write for 10 minutes.
- Next, write a conversation that includes either a) someone making a difficult request of someone else or b) two or three people arguing about something minor as a way to avoid a larger issue or conflict. Write for 10 minutes.
- Next (you guessed it), combine the two. Feel free to adjust the dialogue or the rain to better fit each other. Write for 15 minutes.
A Few Thoughts
- How does the pace, intensity, and style of rain magnify or delineate the conversation?
- Does the rain stop and start? How does that effect the action?
- How do your characters react to the rain? Do they hide under trees, shut windows, place pots and pans to collect drips?
Tomorrow: Further Writing and Variations for Writing Groups
What did you think of this writing prompt? Share your thoughts.