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A Red Herring (Writing Prompts)

Writing Prompts

I did not expect such delight with each of these writing prompts no I did not.

Every time one is published the person who put them up (me, that would be me, Atlin), feels like she wrapped a Christmas present for herself.

The best part is I don't know what's in it the moment it's wrapped, because I don't know what you'll write for each prompt.

A Red Herring (writing prompts)


Last week I opened 'my' present to find:

The creature draws close, its silhouette blocking out the sun and though I’m expecting the worst, when the first claw touches my skin, to my surprise it doesn’t feel sharp, but kitten-soft.

Written by Anarion for the "written warning" prompt, I may or may not have (I did) flung soft furnishings after I read it. I didn't see those final half dozen words coming and that, seeing that, what is inspired by each person with the writing prompt of the week.

*throws hands in the air*

It's a gift in these trying times—and trying you know they are—it's a diversion, it, as I said before, is a tiny sort of community helping bring normality to these oh-so-interesting times.

Kitten Soft Claws and Prompts to Help You Write

It would be such a delight if you'd take part, if you'd write just a little each week, if you'd let us inspire you.

Look up above at those coloured squares and words. Have some thinky thought — but not too many! Just go with the flow, that's the point. Write something, a dozen words, a dozen times a dozen. There's no right writing, there's no wrong. The only hope is inspiration, pleasure, a bit of squee while squee is thin on the ground.

So what do you say, what will you write?

More Writing Prompts
Written warning
Is anyone there?
Other Stuff
The Responsible Reader: The Mirror & the Light
Ignore at Your (Possible) Peril — Women Crime Writers and Readers
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  • Narrelle Harris on

    Bill Stone is built like an undernourished ferret. His associate, Gaz Herring (known as Red to his mates and the police) is built like an over-nourished four year old, all round, short softness and guileless eyes..

    Do not, under any circumstances, let that fool you.

    Red and Bill are a lot brighter than they look: bright enough to encourage people to think them stupid. Bright enough to see a gap in the market and to develop a skill set to fill it. (Red learned about this sort of thing when he did his economics degree; Bill learned it from his Uncle Stew, a small time drug dealer who is doing 10 years for drug trafficking, consecutive with 10 for manslaughter: he didn’t know the gun was loaded.)

    Together, these men fix problems of the human type. When someone is in the way, they remove the blockage. They don’t even care if the pay is meagre. You see, Stone and Herring have a business model inspired by rock and roll. Dirty tricks aren’t so much done dirt cheap as for a laugh.

    And they have an awful sense of humour.

  • Anarion on

    I stumble up the last hill and suddenly there is nothing more between me and the horizon. The slope of the hill flows into a stony beach, which in turn gets swallowed by a grey and angry ocean.

    Jess and Mike come up next to me and follow my gaze. There is no sound but the wind and the wheezing of breath. Then Mike gasps out a single, broken syllable. “No!”

    And with that all three of us seem to lose the last bit of strength we had and one after the other we drop to the ground where we stand.

    It was all a lie. We have crossed the barren lands following a promise that turned out to be as empty as the sky.

    There is nowhere left to go.

  • Jamie Ashbird on

    Dirty knees. That’s what you get when you trip in the bog. Damn rabbit burrows. At least I missed that pile of sheep poo. Soaked and soft, grapelike piles on the dewy moss. Could’ve been worse. Could’ve landed face first in it.
    I can brush myself off as best I can but there’s no fixing these knees and that mud. No matter I suppose. I’ll be toiling soon enough among the soot and ashes.
    It’s my first day on the job. Can’t be late. There’s no time to pick the stone from me shoe. I used that time up getting back on my feet and shouting at a nearby ewe who stared back as though I was the one in the wrong. She was probably right.
    I trudge on with a meagre breakfast in my belly. Of all things, a red herring. I’ll wager I’ll soon have my fill, though I’ve never been partial.
    There’s the smokehouse, over yon hill. I can see the smoke rising already, can smell those kippers stinking up the air. Or is it just the fog and the bog? It’s going to be a long day.

  • Wendy / Atlin on

    The stone is dirty. Of course it is, I dug it up with a dozen others. They’re meagre little things but in a pile round the fire they’ll help hold the wood in place and I can roast the herring I got from the river. They’re big things, silver when you catch ‘em, but they go red when they’re…well I say ripe, but Maebh just rolls their eyes when I do. I know they’re hiding a smile, too.

    After we eat, we poke at the stones, get them far from the simmering coals. When they cool a bit Maebh put a couple by their feet. I stuff mine under my shirt even though they burn a bit.

    It’s all good. We have everything we need, here by the river. More than enough while we wait.

    Sionna will come for us soon. We’ve seen the goddess roiling the water a couple times. There’s a war going on under there, one we can’t help her fight with our puny little air-hungry lungs. But we’ll be here when she rises, when the war gets run to ground.

    We’ll be ready.

    I use the stones to sharpen our blades.

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