Ian D Scofield, Writer

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Thriller and Freelance

Category: Prompt Responses (Page 1 of 5)

Writers Block

The Protagonist’s Pep Talk

While I didn’t win the writing prompt contest over at Reedsy, I had a lot of fun writing this piece on writer’s block.

Sitting at my desk, my hands hovered over the keyboard as I struggled to come up with a paragraph, no a sentence. Maybe even a word for my story. Inside my head my characters were vivid, I even had an ending picked out for my story. What I didn’t have is a now. What was happening to my characters? 1 month to write a story and my dreaded enemy reared its head. Every writer’s dreaded enemy.

Writer’s Block.

In the past, it has paid its visits like it has to all writers but I couldn’t afford that now. I was halfway through the month and all I had to my story was a few pages. With how many times I had been through this story I finally thought I had something here. The beginning that I had crafted this time was perfect. Everything else had to be perfect too. Maybe I was finally ready to move on from rough drafts.

Something needed to change and it needed to change yesterday. Then, in the corner of my eye, movement caught my attention and I looked up from my keyboard contemplation to the hallway outside my door. Nothing was there. No one should be there, I was home alone after all.

    Attention back to the keyboard the letters formed words in my head but nothing that made sense. Cailin, Chelsea, Taylor, Becca, all of these characters I knew them so well. Why couldn’t keys start mashing? Why couldn’t I get something down on “paper”.

    A knock on the door frame brought my attention back up to the hallway.

“Can I come in.” The voice was one that I knew in my heart and mind but not one that I had ever really heard.

“Um…” I started to respond.

“That wasn’t really a question,” Chelsea said as she entered the room.

Standing taller than me by a few inches, with a physically fit body, and impressive tattoos, Chelsea was intimidating. She was also just like I had always pictured her. A white dress that fit her perfectly, muscles complimenting her physique. The twin to her brother Cailin, she was the action-minded, stubborn twin. She cared but she had her own way of showing it. She was my creation though and there was no logical explanation for her to be standing in front of me. My heart skipped a beat for every author loves their characters.

“We have to talk,” Chelsea stated in a serious tone as she took a seat at the desk across from mine. “This story that you are writing is important to you, yes? You have been writing it for so long that I think that should be obvious.”

I nodded. “Since middle school, I have been working to tell the stories of you and Cailin but I haven’t had it right.”

“This time you are close to telling it the way it was meant to be told. The way it should be. But you have to stop sitting here feeling sorry for yourself. Sorry that you can’t think of what to write. Your job is not to think, it is just to write. If you think too hard, then you are cutting off your imagination. Just let it flow from you.”

I looked at her like she must be kidding me. How is it possible to not think about something and just let it happen?

I thought about that then realized that I was thinking about it. That was counter to what she had said to do. Looking up I found that Chelsea was staring at me with those piercing red eyes that she normally kept reserved for those moments that she was trying to make an important point.

“I don’t think you realize what is at stakes. For you, this is just a story. Me on the other hand, this is my life. With each word, you are breathing life into my world. Each new person that reads your story learns about us and gives us more life. We need to be read.”

“How are you even here right now?” I ventured to ask.

“I am here because you believe in me. You think that I am real, if only in your mind.” She answered. “I may only be real to you but I am real.”

“Of the characters in my book, why did you come to me?” I asked.

“Because I am who you needed right now. The right woman for the job, you might say.” Her voice had dropped to something more caring.

Not knowing if I was crazy or not I took another look at this girl who had been part of my writing for years. Her story came into my head as I looked at her. I started to type without looking at the keyboard, a skill that I had mastered years ago. Then as the story flooded my head I had to look down at the keyboard and up to the screen to make sure that I didn’t get ahead of myself.

A few pages down and I looked back up to the office chair that she had been sitting in. The chair spun around slowly, Chelsea was gone. A pang of sadness hit at me, I would have loved to get to know her more. To talk with her some more.

“I will always be there.” Came her voice, faint as if my hallway continued on for ages.

When she said it though, I knew it would be true. She would always be with me, she had always been with me. My fingers went back to their job and a moment later, so did all of my attention. Passion flowing out into the keys as I set to work on the middle of my story. Breathing life into what might just be the final draft.

 

Writing Prompt: Turning

Blood dripped from my fingertips as I backed away.  “I’m sorry.”

~Pinterest

Blood dripped from my fingertips as I backed away.  “I’m sorry.”  I stammered as Quinn fell to the ground bleeding, unable to say another word.  The stroke had been swift and final, like I intended.  As her body fell to the ground I held her close to me.

Killing was not something that I liked doing but sometimes it simply had to be done.  Quinn had been bitten by a vampire and the turning was not something that she was going to undergo comfortably.  A tear rolled down my eyes.  A life as a vampire was not something that I would wish on anyone.

A shock ran through her body and the cut in her abdomen started to heal over.  She was now dead, but not dead at the same time.  Sweat started to bead down her head and her small body thrashed harder.  Her eyelids opened but there was nothing there.  Her beautiful green eyes started to turn dark red as she became a creature of the night and blood.

As if she were actually dying the warmth slipped away from her body.  Everything that was Quinn was starting to fade away.  There was only one thing that I could hope for, that her mind would remain once she became like me.

We Were Friends, Then We Were Dead

You and your three closest friends decide to go camping. You arrive and set up camp nearly three miles away from where you left your car. Late that evening, as you sit around the campfire roasting marshmallows, one of your friends reveals a deep dark secret that turns what was to be a fun weekend into one of the scariest weekends of your life.

~Writer’s Digest Prompt

This is actually only the second or third time I have ever tried to write a horror thriller piece.  Most of the thriller pieces I have written in the past have been action thriller.

I hope you enjoy this writing prompt.  It is a little different than most of my work.


Riding in a car with four other people shoved together always gave me mixed feelings, now being around the campfire, I was able to be free.  Sharing stories and being with friends in the great outdoors is the best way to get to know those you care about.

Jim stood up with a marshmallow on a stick and leaned towards the fire.  For a second the circle was quiet as we all watched the marshmallow turn brown and then catch on fire.

“Dude, that’s on fire.”  Someone yelled but Jim just held the marshmallow in place.  He didn’t look up and at first didn’t say anything in response.

Then with his head tilted up and a sinister smile on his face, Jim started to speak.  “I want to tell you all a secret that I have been hiding for a while.  One that I need to get off my chest.”  He paused for a minute as his eyes made contact with each of us.  Something told me not to respond though, and I think the rest of my friends got the message too.  “You know all of those disappearances around town?  I have been practicing my ability to kill, to end life in various ways.  All to lead up to this weekend.  To a great hunt in the forest.”

Nervous laughter filled the circle.  Ghost stories at the campfire had been tradition for ages after all.  But when I saw his face I knew he was serious.  Only someone with a mind for killing could have a face like that.  I don’t know how I knew it but I knew it.  Plus, the fact that there had been actual disappearances around town, it just clicked.

“The hunt starts now.”  Jim said as he stood and moved slowly towards the car.  So casually in fact, that it didn’t fit with his statement.

I looked at the other three around the campfire and as our eyes met we knew we had only two options.  Fight or run.  While Jim’s back was turned there was only one option.  Run.

Hastily I grabbed Austin’s hand in mine and pulled her towards the tree line with me.  For our first three years in high school I had had a thing for Austin but now that we were seniors I had only just started to flirt with her.  Early bloomer, I know.

We disappeared into the forest but a loud bang from behind, I knew not everyone had made it out of the circle.  One of the other two weren’t as fast as I had been.

Together Austin and I did our best to become one with the forest.  We found a large bush that could serve as a hiding spot and were able to hide there until daylight.  When the bullet finally came, the only warning I had as I looked into Austin’s eyes and took in her grey irises, was the bang that preceded the bullet by only a second.

The blood, the loss of life in her eyes was only mine to take in for a second before everything went dark.

Goodbye Writer’s Block

I was on the Writer’s Digest website the other day and just reading through the large number of writing prompts that they have there when I stumbled across this one.  This writing prompt is essentially writing a breakup letter with writer’s block.  I thought the idea might be a little cheesy at first and was a little hesitant to start it.

Then I started to think about the idea and thought that it might be a great way to break the ice once again.  When I started writing the breakup letter with writer’s block, I felt empowered.  It made me feel creative and strong.

Want to try the prompt for yourself?  Take a look at it here.

I think that I might try to do one of these letters one a year or every so many months.  The amount of writing freedom I felt afterward was empowering.


Dear Writer’s Block,

It’s not you, it’s me.  I have been suffering from our relationship for months, and before that on and off for more months.  The amount of time that we have been having this love/hate (mostly hate) relationship, has been detrimental to my fiction writing career.  I have been writing only my paid writing and have been ignoring most of my fun writing.

With a relationship as long as ours has been, it is hard to break this off.  But it is time this stops.

I mean to use prompts to make a difference in breaking our relationship but more importantly, I plan to use my joy of writing to terminate this relationship.

I know you will try to follow me in the writing world.  It is the poison of the creative to be followed by writer’s block.  You will not follow me.  This is my notice to you that it is time to stop.  If you do not stop, all that will happen is that you will be pushed back time and time again.  No matter how many times you have appeared in the past, you have always been burnt.  Remember these times, remember this letter, next time you choose to try and make an appearance.

Creativity cannot be beaten, it cannot be kept down.  Especially by something as pesky as a blockage of the mind.

Now it is time that this letter comes to an end.  I am sorry that I am not sorry we are terminating this long-term relationship.  All the best to you, somewhere other than my mind.  Preferably in some eternal nether where you will never attack another writer’s mind.

With Sincerity,

Ian, Chief of My Own Creativity

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