Ever feel stuck when writing? Or, even worse, during editing?
Sure you do. That particular spirit haunts us all.
My favorite remedy is to write something unrelated to my work to get the three F-s ‒ fog, foolishness, and frustration ‒ out of my system. Since I write stories, at times like these, I try a poem to warm up before starting to work. If I am writing drama, I also try romantic, sci-fi, or dystopian flash fiction. Nothing like a challenge to get those creative juices flowing.
However, sometimes I catch myself wasting time trying to decide what to write about during that ten-fifteen minute stretching before tackling real work. And I remembered something I loved to do at school. At the time, I never imagined that I would come to love anything about those days, but so-called adult life is full of surprises. During music classes, I loved to write short stories inspired by the classical pieces we were listening to. Inventing new stories for paintings in art classes was another favorite pastime.
Today, I sometimes use movie trailers as prompts. Or change the plots of the movies that I love. Interestingly, movies and songs that I hate always provide a good writing exercise too. So, let’s get down to business: Metropolis directed by Fritz Lang. A science-fiction masterpiece: dystopia, inspired by various art movements such as Bauhaus, art deco, and Cubism among others, biblical stories, Gothic cathedral, catacombs, robots, urban setting, futuristic for the time, hallucinations… perfect prompt for a flash fiction piece, a children’s story or poem!