My friend over at The Writing Righter has started a series of weekly freewriting prompts called Fifteen Minutes of Fiction. If you don’t have time for a full blown scene (like the kind required to write a good flash fiction), freewriting for 15 minutes may be just the option you need.
Instead of working over a story for several days, you have to limit yourself to a mere 15 minutes and write as much as you can in one sitting. If traditional freewriting isn’t your cup of tea, you can cheat a little like I do. My “freewriting” is a little bit more organized than pure stream of consciousness would be, but it’s what I need to do to get through the allotted time still sane. And if you need a little longer than 15 minutes, no one has to know but you.
This week’s prompt was the starter sentence: “If only she had been looking where she was going, none of this would have happened…”
If only she had been looking where she was going, none of this would have happened. Reaching down, she gingerly prodded her now swollen ankle. She didn’t think anything felt broken, but she wasn’t exactly a doctor. All she knew was her ankle hurt far too much to be able to bear her weight, much less get her back up and out of the ravine she’d fallen into. She looked around for a branch thick and long enough to use as a crutch.
After half an hour passed by of painfully scooting herself along the ground on her bottom, she gave up the hunt. In the movies, perfectly proportioned tree limbs always appeared within arm’s reach of a fallen hero. She figured she was in more of a Stephen King kind of story. Sure, chances were she’d live, but all manner of unpleasant things would happen to her before she fought her way to safety.
The ants crawling up her legs were evidence enough of that. Swatting at them, she cursed and scooted away as quickly as she could from the ant hill she hadn’t seen earlier. “Just my luck,” she grunted as she used a tree trunk to pull herself up into a standing position.
“O.k., Jasmine. Time to take stock of what you have.” Swinging her backpack off one shoulder and around, she started rooting through it. “Cell-phone that can’t pick up a signal out here in the middle of nowhere? Check. Almost empty water bottle? Check.”
Photo credit: Bruce Denis