Blog Post

Writing Prompts that Inspire Great Stories

Dec 4th, 2017

This week’s writing prompt comes to us from the Storytime feature found in Subtextthe very best way to get to know story structure at a molecular level.

Subtext's Random Story for this Week

Raising Mermaids

Small and indie in nature, this week’s story is about a group of single parents who struggle with writing screenplays.[^apro] Our Main Character Bella—most likely the Protagonist of the piece—balances her writing aspirations with the very immediate concerns of raising an orphan child. Why is it a concern for her?

The Atomizer suggests Bella is too old for the child. Perhaps our central character, facing her 60s alone and without family, turns to adoption to fill the emptiness in her life. One instantly imagines scenes of her juggling her after-hours writing and set-in-stone routine with the pressing needs of a young and impertinent child.

Before too long, Mia—her long-lost sister—returns after the passing of her husband. Intent on getting closer to her sister and helping out with the child any way she can, Mia Begins filling in for Bella.

Unfortunately, this help includes healthy doses of Mia’s paranoia surrounding Bella’s neighbors. Affluent and reserved, the residents in Bella’s retirement community frighten Mia: what are they hiding and what goes on behind their closed doors?

And more importantly, what does it mean for Bella’s poor child?

A Springboard for Creativity

So far, so good.

But Being Nagging towards a Mermaid? How is that supposed to fit?

A quick Google search brings up evidence of mermaid symbolism in literature:

  • love
  • beauty
  • untamed
  • feminity
  • sensual

What if, instead of a young child, it was a teenage girl that Bella adopted? Perhaps the Mermaid the Atomizer calls for could be Lucia, a seductive runaway, desperate for attention and human connection.

Suddenly, Bella’s age takes on a whole new light. Instead of merely being physically exhausted from the duties of caring for a younger child, Bella now faces the emotional exhaustion that surrounds raising a teenage girl.

Add in a nagging paranoid sister who knows what is right and what is wrong, and you’ve got yourself the basis for a reliable and potentially powerful drama.

Know Your Ingredients

The Subtext breaks a story down into its base elements. Knowing the combination of ingredients that go into your favorite and critically acclaimed stories makes it easier for you, the aspiring writer, to achieve similar acclaim.

The Storytime feature provides a combination of story points that resonate to tell a meaningful and complete story.

And if you don’t connect with that one, you can always click the button marked “Give Me Another Story,” and the Atomizer will oblige with thousands more.

Register now for Subtext and begin to know story at a molecular level.

[^apro]: Apropos for a site dedicated to all things story and story structure