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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Writing Prompt: Your Very Own Tall Tale

 by Marilyn Friedman
It's almost Halloween--yay!  It's time to let your imagination run wild and dress up like a character from one of your favorite stories or movies. Fun! 

Once you've settled down from your candy corn high, Writing Pad has a terrrific new class to help you write an amazing short story AND get it published. Successful writer, Melissa Clark, will be teaching Short and Sweet: The Art of The Short Story starting Nov. 4! Click "Buy Now" at the bottom of the class description, call 323-333-2954, OR email to sign up before it's full!

November Classes
Short and Sweet: The Art of The Short Story
In honor of our new short story class, here's a writing prompt to inspire your very own story classic.  Make a list of your 5 favorite fairy tales or short stories.  Pick one.  Now write down five specific details of that story (e.g. For Little Red Riding Hood I'd write down: 1. red cloak, 2. big fangs, 3. cherry pies in a basket, 4. granny nightgown, and 5. "What big eyes you have!").  Set the timer for 10 min.  Write a modern version of this tale, including at least 2 of the 5 specific details that you wrote down.  Maybe apply this story to something that happened to you recently.  Start your story with "Once upon a time" and then post the results in the comments of this blog!

Comment on this blog!  Write a modern fairy tale.  If you post your story in the comments of this blog, you could win a free class!


David S. said...

Once upon a time Goldilocks found herself in the kitchen of the Three Bears' house. She was impressed by the matching set of dishes and glasses, as well as the stainless steel cutlery. There were three bowls set out on the table filled with oatmeal, and not just any oatmeal - the really good steelcut oats from Gelson's. How the bears had such good taste, she thought. She tried Papa Bear's oatmeal first - too hot, though the bowl it was served in was really nice, she thought. Same with Mama Bear's oatmeal - the bowl was nice enough, but the oatmeal was too cold. Next she tried Baby Bear's oatmeal. The bowl matched those of the parents and luckily for Goldilocks the oatmeal was just right.

Next she walked over to the living room and slid her fingers on the shelves of the bookcases, admiring and mentally comparing the books she's yet to read with the books she and the Three Bears have read. She walked over to a nice black pleather recliner - too hard. Must be Papa Bear's, she thought. She walked over to Mama Bear's loveseat. Cute color, she thought, but too soft. And inevitably she reached Baby Bear's recliner and ottoman combo. One sit in it and she was sold. Just right.

Finally she made her way to the beds. Papa Bear's California king size bed was too hard. You have to wonder about him, Goldilocks thought. Does he have no feelings? Mama Bear's vintage-inspired day bed was too soft. Baby Bear's bed was, as expected, just right. And with that Goldilocks went into a deep slumber.

When she awoke, Goldilocks saw not three bears, but three burly security guards accompanied by two store clerks in yellow polo shirts with blue trim.

"This is the third time this week she's come in," one of them said. "We're trying to run a respectable business, not a flophouse."

"Ma'am, either buy something or don't bother coming back," the second clerk said, his eyes stuck to his iPhone as he texted his girlfriend about his day at work.

"OK, lady, let's go," the more amiable of the security guards said as he took Goldilocks by the hand and out of the bed. The uncomfortable feeling of many pairs of eyes resting their gaze upon her made Goldilocks shrink in embarrassment. There are people who really, really like IKEA. Goldilocks was given a copy of the catalog to hold her over as she was escorted out of the store.

Heather P. said...

Once upon a time there was a very aggressive shark, a rogue shark if you will. His name was professor Milton. He was easily 300 years old. All the creatures of land and sea feared him. He’d been around so long no one could remember why or how he even got his name.

He spent his days and nights on the bottom of the deepest, darkest canyons of the ocean. Some swore they could hear him crying and screaming from below. He fed once a week and all the animals feared him, even the whales. He was triple the size of any normal shark, quicker and quieter too. Luckily, his favorite food was humans.

Sometimes, to protect their young, the whales would flip a boat to make sure Professor Milton would have something to feed on. Most of the time this worked.

Despite popular rumors, whales in fact rule the ocean. They even have their own Royal government. They take offense to the idea that humans have credited mer-folk, who are actually quite stupid.

Within the current hierarchy there were two prince whales, twin boys, Harold and Henry. There was quite a bit of controversy over who would take the thrown. Harold was the more obvious choice between the two. He was very loud, a leader, brave to a fault and confident. Henry on the other hand, always had his nose in a book. He was cautious and shy. Henry wouldn’t have even cared all that much for the throne if it weren’t for Princess Naninda. She was to marry whoever would be king and while Harold had his fun with many of the other lady whales, Henry only had eyes for the princess.