Prompt Discussion: November

It’s been a while since the month has had the extra week to do one of the discussion posts. Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! We managed to drag our tryptophan coma’d butts together (okay, okay, by an email chain, but still!) to give you a little insight into our processes.

Leigh: OK, so Becca, what made you pick this prompt? KT, what did you think when you saw it?

Becca:To be totally honest, it was so long ago, I don’t really remember! I actually forgot that I picked this one, and I thought one of you had! 😀 But looking at it again, I can see why I probably gravitated toward it–with the starkness of the city all around and these two living focal points: the boy and the plant

KT: My first thought was hmmm, why is he running? Second thought was ooo a green shoot, a green stalk, a bean stalk OOOOO JACK AND THE BEANSTALK 😀

Leigh: Yeah, that’s one of the hazards of us working ahead. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’d work to pick them one at a time for the current month, just given how chaotic our schedules are. There’d be a lot more issues with delays and such then, I suspect. I know at first, I was actually more focused on the space beyond the end of the alley. I was going to do something more with that initially, until I noticed the plant.

How did you progress to your story idea from those first thoughts?

Becca: I mean, I think the obvious question is: why is this boy running? Y’know, the question of who he is and why he’s there and what is this place–those were the drivers. Like most of my stories, I had a first line first, and once that pops into my head, I let it spin out.

KT: I wasn’t too sure how to go about it, but I wanted to incorporate a sense of urgency in the run from the stalk. I mean, it looked purposeful to me, so I wanted it to have a great purpose – both the stalk and the run. Then I got the first couple of lines and it just flowed from there.

Leigh: I loved how we all came up with unique ways of looking at this picture. There was that moment of decision, for me, if he was running away from the plant or towards something else, and I felt like that was the end of the story and beginning of another, but that the plant was a catalyst somehow for both.

Becca, I know you mentioned having trouble with this prompt. Any idea why? KT, were you flummoxed too?

Becca: I think partly I had a little trouble connecting with my own prompt. And then the first few ideas I had were too similar to what you and KT had already put up. In the end, I only found my footing when I let go of the notion of trying to incorporate the plant into the story. I don’t feel like I could’ve added anything more to that that the previous stories hadn’t already done much better.

KT: I was a little flummoxed (which, by the way, is an awesome word). I’d just got through NaNo and still had my head partially in that world. Not all of us are super organized with our prompts like SOME people *cough Leigh cough* So, it took a bit for the idea to germinate and kick in. But once it did, the only trouble I had was getting it to come out the way I wanted. I was pretty happy with it though.

I’m really loving the challenge some of these prompts pose for me. I find that I have to push myself a little harder to see inspiration. It kick starts my brain which helps with the rest of my work. And fitting a story into such a small pace is always difficult. I’m still in awe of how different our end results are from one another.

Leigh: Yeah, I know, I’m almost always ahead. Otherwise I’d be perpetually behind! I kept fiddling with this one, trying to get the voice to do what I wanted. But it came together, slowly but surely. I might have to play with this one’s world more another time, there’s something totally creepy about a place where plants are almost unheard of.

Thanks lovelies! Happy Thanksgiving, happy Chanukah, and let the shopping mayhem commence!

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