It’s overcast and warm in London today – funny how we still notice even though we’re shut in fairly tight.
I’m at my desk. Outside is the most built up environment I’ve ever known, but there is little traffic now, and the air is fresh and full of birdsong. Even better, two little writing sketches have arrived from Denmark and they are making me laugh, as each is a reminder of a big charactered dog we once knew. The sketches are below, plus the new prompts from Saraswathi Sukumar. I hope her suggestions inspire a creative flurry, whatever the medium.
Click. The door closed. At the same moment Django froze. The two dogs stared at each other. Neither moved. Not a sound. Suddenly Django lunged forward and at the same time the other dog leapt towards him. Crash one wet Labrador nose hit the mirror. Djamgo stood in stunned amazement. His ego no doubt hurt by my laughter but reassured by his silent new found friend that he was indeed a very handsome Labrador.
Hide and Seek
A dog’s enthusiasm is infectious. With his bottom barely touching the ground, head to one side with his ears cocked and intelligent eyes shining, Django waits trembling in anticipation of his favourite game: hide and seek. On hearing the command, Django burst into the room and almost out of his skin in excitement. Skidding across the polished floor and round corners as all the favourite hiding places are checked. The game is on. Nose in action. Fierce concentration. Speed is of the essence. At last success and the biscuit disappears with great wagging of the tail. Game up!
Here are the prompts:
1. Thief (write for five minutes)
2. Pick a character who has something that is most dear to them – it can be an object, a person, a cherished memory, or anything else you can think of. Describe this thing, go into as much detail as possible and ensure that you answer the following questions in your description:
- What/who is the thing most dear to them?
- Why is it most dear to them?
- What does it look like?
- How did they acquire this thing?
- When did they acquire this thing? (write for twenty minutes)
3. The thing (or the who) that you described in the first challenge, is stolen from them. Write the scene and in the scene try to answer the following questions:
- Who is the thief? (Be creative – in the instance of a stolen memory for example, the thief could be disease or drugs or a knock on the head etc etc)
- Describe the thief – what do they or does it look like, and how do they behave?
- Why has the thief stolen this cherished thing?
- What are your character’s emotions? Do they see the thief steal? Or do they find out long after the thing (or the who) has been stolen? (write for twenty minutes)
4. Sneaking (write for five minutes)
These prompts will be the last for now, as our online writing group is going to switch its focus to individual writing projects. I hope you’ll have a go at these final suggestions, and if you’d like to send anything in the best way is by email to email@example.com.
Until then thanks to you for your company, to Saraswathi Sukumar for letting me use her excellent ideas, and to the Danish writer for the memories!
All the best
Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2020