Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Playing With Fire & Writing Prompts

Some people are afraid to let anyone see their work in case their original ideas get stolen. A little bit of mine is about to show up on the Writer's Digest site for writing prompts, so I'll take the liberty of saying "Y'all saw it here first, folks."

Am I afraid of this heinous scenario? Not exactly, because true writers ARE original. They don't need to steal. The latest WD prompt's first and last sentences (required) actually fit with a novel idea I played with and made notes for about a month ago, so I toyed with their 500 wordcount and was interested to submit it. For now, the rest of this story's details remain mine...

Enjoy, and please leave a comment.

My mother always told me not to play with fire. It’s a pity the local boys’ mothers didn’t give them the same advice. If she did, they never listened.
            Effortless and unbidden the memories returned as I waited, scantily clad, seated in a director’s chair fingering a box of Redheads. As a result of their firebug antics my house burnt down when I was in the next town getting my passport photo done. While I was there, a visiting photographer guy handed me a card urging I ring without delay, that Genevieve might have work for me. Apparently I had “the look”.
            Ring I did, and was told to come. Being ‘discovered’ is every girl’s dream and I never once believed it could happen to me. Genevieve was falling all over herself with delight, proclaiming me the next Miranda Kerr. Cheeks like a chipmunk and legs like a sculpture. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my parents, hoping they’d see the legitimacy on offer and not the seedy side.
            Ha. If only I’d not been so naive.
            I arrived home to discover my house was gone and my parents were taken with it. There would be an investigation with hell to pay when the arsonists were uncovered, but all this meant for me was that after my immediate grief was assuaged, I would be utterly on my own. My adoptive parents were the only ones I’d ever known. They’d brought me from India and that’s all I knew.
            Not long after the fire, Genevieve was ready to pounce and I was ready to be loved. The shoots started instantly, ensuring my cataclysmic rise to fame. The world loved but couldn’t soothe me. By the grace of God I did manage to elude the seedy side for the better part, but there was always someone ready to take advantage of my proportions. How wrong was it to resign myself that lingerie and swimwear shoots weren’t all bad, that they weren’t clashing with my inner moral compass?
            Quickly this became the life I never expected, the life every girl never actually truly wants. I could do the job and make brands like D&G look fantastic, but at heart I remained the teen who’d lost her parents in a fire. Perhaps everyone loved me more because of it. Whatever.
            All I knew was that I was fast losing my own identity and I needed it back. Was there any chance I could trace my roots? All the way back to India? Surely it was possible.
            Until then, I was working as clotheshorse for Moontide. Striking the pose I still found a little too suggestive, I might as well be naked. I always blamed the fire when I was in situations like this. The beach was awesome, but the day was long. Everything in my life was prearranged for me. All I had to do was show up.
            And that’s how I ended up in the middle of nowhere—naked.

Decide: Are writer's prompts worth it? Have you ever tried them? What was the result?

"By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night." Exodus 13:21

L'Eternel marchait à leur tête, le jour dans une colonne de nuée pour leur montrer le chemin, et la nuit dans une colonne de feu pour les éclairer, afin qu'ils puissent marcher de jour et de nuit.

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