Don't forget that tomorrow is the deadline for Patti Abbott's flash fiction challenge. I've got mine finished except for a bit of spit and polish. I usually know a story is done when I can read through it without changing anything :)
I love prompts when I'm writing because they make me think longer and harder before I put down that first word. When you know that a large group of fantastic writers are going to be using the same prompt you're forced to find an idea that you don't think anyone else will think of, too. Most prompts leave you with two or three great ideas that everyone else will think of, so you have to reach for the fifth or sixth or maybe the eleven-hundredth idea so your story will be original.
My piece for tomorrow is a bit out there. Scrolling through all of Reginald Marsh's paintings on the 'net was a bit overwhelming. Trying to find something that sparked an idea was easy, but when I stumbled across some of his black and white pencil drawings, the muse really kicked in.
First was this sketch called "The Locomotive" http://www.questroyalfineart.com/4855/the-locomotive.html Something about the picture just drew me in. But I couldn't find a story in this wonderful sketch. So, I started scrolling again and found this amazing sketch called "East Tenth Street Jungle" http://harrisschrank.com/east-tenth-street-jungle-1st-state.htm and everything fell into place.
The Jungle sketch is a look at the depression era and is so full of life and hurt and human beings at their worst that the words spilled, even pulling in the locomotive for the final scene. And the odd thing is, I don't feel like the story is finished with me. While the flash is complete in itself, I loved this world I created and hope to someday revisit this story and add in all the back story that filled my head as I was writing.
What about you, do you love or hate prompts? Do they help or just stall out your brain by making you over think an idea?