A couple of weeks ago, I posted a story premise challenge and offered one of a variety of prizes to the winners. Two of them chose for me to take a picture of a word, spelled out creatively. So here are the pictures of the two words: Swoosh and Phewf!
Swoosh: This was requested by Michelle Proulx. Actually, she asked for Shwoop! which is the sound of a spaceship bending the space/time continuum. But I got mixed up and did Swoosh, which is a more mundane type of speed word. I think I will have to do Shwoop! at some point. My apologies, Michelle.
It was pretty fun drawing this, although I got some strange looks. Luckily our street is so quiet that no cars passed while I was drawing it. The downside of that, of course, is that I had to wait a long time for something to drive by. It’s even more fun, since it’s not a word that people could find in a dictionary if they looked it up.
Phewf!: This was requested by Jilanne Hoffmann. It’s an expression of relief, such as Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes might use.
I made this by wrapping thread around pins in a very specific pattern. Here is what it looks like uncropped:
There were three third winners, but the third one, nightlake, opted for a story, so I’ll post that when it’s ready.
Last Tuesday, I posted a challenge where I put up three pictures, with random words below them and asked people to come up with story premises based on them. I got 16 premises and picked out my favorite one for each picture. They are:
Winner: nightlake – “Mermaid sighted in disputed waters sparks territorial fight between warring neighbours.”
Winner: Michelle Proulx – “Reginald Hammersworth, secret agent extraordinaire, is ready for his next big mission … until Z gives him his new ride: a cute little red car with a sassy AI named Mrs. Peacock.”
3. “Kneeling Man in Woods/Violin”
Winner: Jilanne Hoffmann – “Please Mom, if you help me find my way out of this jungle, I promise I’ll practice the violin every day for the rest of my life.”
I promised prizes for the winners, but since everyone is different, I’ll let them decide what they want. So, Nightlake, Michelle, and Jilanne, read carefully and let me know which one you would like to receive.
- I will write a story and dedicate it to you. You would suggest a few key story elements (theme, genre, characters, plot elements, etc.) and I would use them to write a story. I call this Invitational Prompts and I’ve done it twice before. The first was the story The Circle of Unbeing, which I wrote for Sharmishtha Basu. The second is a story I have been writing for some time for Amy of The Bumble Files, which should be out soon. If you choose this one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk about it.
- I will email you a picture of a word or phrase of your choosing (e.g. your name, your blog address, etc.) spelled out creatively (e.g. with jelly beans, in Korean, spray-painted on the side of a police car…)
- I will mail you a small souvenir from Korea, which is where I live (you will need to email me your mailing address because I suck at guessing mailing addresses).
- I will give you one (1) piece of advice. (Note: NOT RECOMMENDED. My only piece of advice is “shape up and fly right”)
- I will make a video in which I will read a short story of your choosing in a creative location (i.e. not in front of my computer). It could be either one of mine or yours or one that I won’t get sued for using. I’ll give a shout-out to your blog on it.
Let me know which you’d like, and if you didn’t win, there’s always next time.
A couple days ago I posted a quote on Facebook that said, “Original ideas appear at the nexus of dissimilar concepts.” I didn’t get a lot of comments on it, but what I meant by it was that I sometimes come up with novel idea by sticking two very different things together. For example, I might put the picture of cogs below with the word “chocolate” and come up with the premise: “A chocolate factory in Switzerland is sabotaged by the Jelly Bean Army, sparking the first of the Candy Wars.”
Okay, I just made that up on the spot. They’re not always very good, but it’s a good way of getting the creative juices flowing and thinking of things from a different angle.
So, now it’s your turn. Below there are three pictures with random words attached to them. The words were provided by my wife, who didn’t see the pictures and wasn’t sure why I was asking her to give me random words, as evidenced by the first one.
Your challenge is to give a one-sentence story premise based on one of the picture-word combinations (do as many as you want, of course). Multiple entries are encouraged. I’ll let this go for a week and then pick the best one and give them some sort of prize. I’ll let them pick from some choices and although it won’t be money, I’ll try to make the choices cool. So, here are the three pictures:
3. “Kneeling Man in Woods/Violin”
Ready, set, go!