One of my favorite writing prompts came from a graduate course I took at Manhattanville College with writer Elizabeth Eslami. Liz told us to start with the phrase All s/he [or I] wanted was… and then write. Is the desire big–like James Bond’s desire to save the world from takeover by Spectre? Is it more personal, like the desired to be loved or to gain self-confidence? How does this desire manifest itself in action? I tell my fiction students to start there, in the middle of a desire–and to think about some reasons why the desire may be thwarted. Save the back story for later, I say. Keep the stakes high and raise questions. Those are the things I tried to do as I opened my novel Shadow Notes.
Thanks for contributing this post, Laurel. I enjoyed reading it, and your opening pages are captivating.
Thanks for the Liz prompt on answering the “All s/he wanted was” line. I think it’s what keeps readers turning pages. All best with sales and reviews for SHADOW NOTES. Marilyn (aka cj)
Thanks, Marilyn. It’s been such a useful line for me–I give it away as much as I can. 🙂 Cheers. Laurel