Monday Sparks — Writing Prompts: How Would You Describe This Scene?

battlew-197727_1280This photo is a reenactment of a battle in the American Civil War. If you were writing historical fiction, how would you describe it? If you’ve never been in a battle, how could you make the scene come alive to your readers?

I am friends with a number of writers who specialize in historical fiction. From interviews I’ve conducted with them, I’ve learned a few techniques.

  • If the historical period still has living eyewitnesses, interview them.
  • If the historical period is hundreds or thousands of years from the present, research sources that were written by people of that time.
  • If at all possible, visit the area in which your historical period is set.

Once you’ve done that research, you must rely on your own imagination and skill to make a time period feel real to your readers.

What historical fiction have you read that made you feel like you knew what it was like to live in that time?

Monday Sparks — Writing Prompt for Speculative Fiction

travelw-3126602_1280Using as many senses as you can, how would describe this scene? Here’s mine:

“The mist crawled in and chilled me, even though I was wearing a jacket. The wind sighed over the treeless hills. That was the only sound except for an occasional creak from an overturned vehicle. The faint scent of gasoline mixed with the stagnant smell of still water from the half-frozen ponds lining the road.

“Behind the hill to my right, a shape stood dark against the fog. My heard revved, but I stopped. I pressed my lips together, swallowing hard, then called out with as much confidence as I could gather to keep my voice from shaking. “Dad?”

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