Here is my last opening scene prompt to wrap up January’s theme of beginnings. The instructions for it are the same as last week’s prompt. Write down your first impressions of this photo for characters, setting, and plot. Then use those impressions to write an opening scene for a story.
- Workers on their way home
- People bundled against the cold
- Everyone looks alike
- The world is gray
- A worker is depressed.
- A worker is frustrated with the every day dullness of routine.
- A worker wants to break free.
Here’s my opening:
If I don’t make a change soon …
I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, my left boot sliding on a patch of ice hidden under the charcoal-streaked snow.
People, workers leaving their jobs like me, bundled to their eyes against the freezing weather, trudged past, heads bent. Were they watching for slick spots or could think of no reason to lift their gaze?
Fat flakes drifted from a putty-colored sky. Even if enough snow fell to cover all the dirt, it wouldn’t change the fact that underneath, the snow was stained, spoiled.
I turned my face to the sky, the flakes brushing against my skin on their way to oblivion. That’s where I felt I was heading.
More snow? The timing couldn’t be better. I focus on stepping in someone else’s boot prints, knowing that the extra time taken to conceal my escape will be worth it. I hide a smile when the previously made tracks weave between a group of women with shopping bags. Fingering the stolen diamond in my jacket pocket, I duck my head and keep focusing on one step at a time. Every step farther from the scene brings me one step closer to paying off my son’s medical bills and one step closer to being the mom he thinks I am. If I can just get away with it. A siren jolts me out of my deep thought, and I quicken my pace. One step at a time.
What a set up! This could go in so many directions and most of them are not good for the main character. Lots of potential for tension and suspense.