Settings and Senses

It’s Flash Fiction Friday #2 and already I’ve run into a wall of writer’s block. Sure, I’ve written a few new pieces since last week, but none of them quite feel ready for posting, and after a couple rainy days, I just don’t have the inspiration on my own to move forward.

What’s a writer to do? Google.

It amuses me to think the origin of the word “Google” is the word “googol,” which–so coined by a mathematician in the twentieth century–refers to a number imperceptively massive: ten to the hundredth power. I amuse myself imagining if Google links to so many pages, or if this singular site still aspires to such knowledge.

Regardless, a quick search sent me in a strong direction with immediate writing prompts. In particular, I liked these three (one of which, in fact, is from another WordPress blogger!):

10 Idead for Flash Fiction Writing Prompts
Some assembly required–this is merely a stepping stone, not a bridge.

30 Flash Fiction Prompts
Immediate relief for the writer in need. She also has additional prompts for “Flash NaNo.”

Flash Fiction 365
In case thirty just isn’t enough, how about 335 more?

The truth is, I have a few of my own ideas–but when I can stash away some inspiration, a sort of prophylaxis, so to speak, I’m braver to attempt incarnating my own ideas knowing that–should it fail or slip away–I’ve still got something to fall back upon.

One such idea stemmed from this week’s Daily Post Challenge “The Setting’s the Thing,” which discusses the importance of setting in a story and also includes a few short prompts to get people started. The post reminded me of a writing prompt I read years ago: to write the same scene five times, focusing on a different sense in each one.

Slapping the two together, I came up with a wonderful idea–not only to write more, but also to engage my audience more actively than I have: I want to create a perfect setting that can indulge the senses, but my sight is limited and I’m sure I’ll miss something–so I want your help building this imaginary world.

I thought I’d start with a forest, late spring or early summer, perhaps with a stream or small pond–that’ll give me some material for sights, sounds, and smells, but it seems lacking and needs more. What components could I add to flesh it out? What kinds of characters and situations should I include?

In the meantime, check out today’s flash: Cloud Cover


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