500 Club (6/14)

It’s Thursday! Time for another pair of prompts here at the 500 Club!

The rules.

  1. Choose one of the prompts.
  2. Write a 500-word story or scene based on the prompt, and post it to your blog.
  3. Drop a comment here with the first line or two of your story, and link back so we can read the whole enchilada.

Both of today’s prompts are more open-ended than usual. I don’t know why, maybe because it’s Thursday?

The first comes courtesy of the late, great Ray Bradbury. When I heard of his passing, I rushed to my bookshelves to remember the ways he’d touched my life. While both Fahrenheit 451 and short story collection The October Country blew my mind as a young reader, the book I reached for first was Zen in the Art of Writing. In Zen, Bradbury explains his technique for collecting ideas that he’d later turn into stories. Basically, he mined his own subconsciousness for themes that interested him, and here’s how he did it.

1. Get a blank piece of paper and free associate nouns for a minute or two. (You may want to use a timer to keep you focused). Bradbury’s example went something like this: The Lake. The Trap Door. The Skeleton. Just crank it out. When you’re tapped out, guess what? You’ve got a list of the things that fascinate you most. Pick one of the nouns you’ve just written down, and write about it.

…or…

2. The Seven Plots. We learned about this one in high school, now it’s time to revisit. The Seven Plots are:

Man vs. Man
Man vs. Nature
Man vs. His Environment
Man vs. Technology
Man vs. The Supernatural
Man vs. Self
Man vs. Religion

Pick one and go!

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