I decided on a whim today to participate in the Writer in Motion blog event. I follow a couple of people on Twitter who run the event, and I just couldn’t resist jumping in.
Here’s the photo prompt:
My first impressions
As soon as I saw the prompt (i.e. before I had decided to participate in the event) my mind started working. If I were participating, what would I write?
I’ve been watching a lot of Buzzfeed Unsolved lately so my first thought was about supernatural urban legends and folklore. I also got an Appalachian feel from the image, although it could be almost anywhere. I started to think about who or what might live inside that little cabin. There’s a sense of isolation, but also peace, like chosen seclusion.
As an introvert myself, isolation is seductive. There could be something a little ominous about that lonely building. But is it only ominous because many people don’t understand the value of solitude or silence, because there’s a tendency to look askance at people who choose to live apart from other humans? What stories would people tell about a person who chose to live in a shack on a mountain ridge? How far would those stories be from the truth?
A character began to take shape in my mind as I started to think about the practicalities of living in such an isolated spot. What would this person’s daily routine be? Would they go down to civilization, check their mail? Would they be truly alone? Why would they choose solitude? (Maybe they wanted to finally finish their novel?) What would they fear? Would they have protection, like a dog, a gun, magical wards? When they do encounter people, how do they interact with them?
I also started thinking about “witch in the wood” stories (Blair Witch came to mind). The witch is usually the scary monster in such stories. I want to subvert that trope and perhaps write from the witch’s point of view.
Why am I doing this to myself?
I have a few reasons for participating, even though I’m in the middle of a major rewrite of a big project that I plan to enter in Pitchwars next month.
1.) let’s just be honest: procrastination/burnout. I just got finished pushing myself through rewriting 80k words in two months. Lately as I plug along, I’ve been itching to start a new project. This way, I can rejuvenate my creativity while still working on my writing.
2.) I’ve been meaning to create a writing blog for a while, and this was the push I needed to do it.
3.) It looks so fun and I have a bad habit of being an onlooker when I should be jumping into things. I really want to connect with other writers in a supportive community and this seems like just the ticket.
4.) I’ve been meaning to write more short stories since I know that’s the way a lot of writers in my genre break into the market.
Hopefully I’m not biting off more than I can chew here! But lately, I’ve been writing up to 3000 words per day (albeit some of it rewrites) so I’m confident I can cough up 1000 words or less…and maybe still stay on target to finish the novel up in August! Too ambitious? NEVER.