Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Story?

drownw-3690715_1280My featured author this week is Ronnel Kay Gibson, whose short story “Those Who Stayed” in Christmas fiction off the beaten path, is a drama centered around a life-changing question.

My prompt isn’t the same question, but I thought I’d choose one that had similar consequences. Your main characters is alone by a body of water and sees someone who looks like he’s drowning. What does she do?

If she’s a strong swimmer, does she try to rescue him? What if she isn’t? Does she still try? Should she try to get help? Or risk her life? The answers depend on your character, whether the incident is at the beginning, middle, or end of your plot, and what theme you are trying to explore. If the drowning or near-drowning kicks off a story, I’ll treat it differently than if it was the climax.

So what’s the story you imagine from this photo?

5 thoughts on “Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: What’s the Story?

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    1. Please do! When I saw this photo, I thought of our trip to the beach in 2018. We were in North Carolina, and the island we were staying on had particularly bad rip tides the week we were there. A man drowned trying to save someone. The person he was trying to save survived.

      1. That’s amazing that you witnessed that! I haven’t necessarily come up with a new storyline for this picture prompt, but I have been thinking (as you suggested) about how each of the characters in my book would respond to that emergency situation. I appreciate the thought prompt…it helps “flesh out” my characters as I consider them in a situation I wouldn’t have thought of on my own 🙂

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