This book is for anyone who wants to use creative writing to feel better by externalizing their inner apocalypse. Using 25 writing prompts with evocative photographs, readers are encouraged to make meaning of their life experiences by discovering, emphasizing and illuminating changed perspectives. Every character and every story we write, is autobiographical. This means that though we may have felt like the walking dead at times, we have a chance at redemption. Writing apocalyptic stories can convey a message of change, and even hope. Ultimately, though your stories may be seeded from people you know, these characters have traveled through the system of you; your heart and spirit and mind. Consider writing a clearing of sorts. Our writing can transform us by offering opportunities to explore, examine, and understand outcomes from our lives, and to imagine alternatives. You can evoke a sense of justice and peace, not by changing outcomes (usually it’s too late for that), but by changing perspective.
Days are longer in the spring, as the Earth’s axis increases its tilt relative to the Sun.
Climate Fiction (CliFi) is a genre that addresses the ways that climate change is already transforming our world. By anticipating and elaborating on what these changes might mean in the not so distant future, writers of CliFi use knowledge of science and climate to create worlds that we hope will remain fiction. We write the apocalypse in the hopes to avoid it.
Writing Prompt: What happens when the tilt of the earth’s axis can no longer evoke spring? Check out the science of one aspect of climate change and begin there.
Fiction is a bit like gossip – the best stories are unconstrained by truth.
Writing prompt: Create a character whose talk about other people’s private lives is loose with the truth – and whose gossip has unintended consequences.
What happens to you when you see this prompt on your screen?
Creating a password can be as agonizing and fraught with drama as beginning or ending a relationship. How much do you reveal, how much can you hide? What secret code will unlock this other’s heart? Will the secret code elude you in the moments when you most need it? Do you spell this other’s name (maybe using symbols and numbers will make it less obvious) or perhaps string the first letters of each word in a sentence expressing your wish: iwinmy or maybe it’s better to be positive icdbnt.
Thanks to Ian Urbana and Paul Saffo, I have discovered a new writing genre: “crypto haiku”
“Humans like, even need, to imbue things with meaning…we are prone to organizing symbols into language….We try to make the best of our circumstances, converting our shackles into art.” Ian Urbana, The Secret Life of Passwords, The New York Times.
Writing Prompt: With this in mind, decipher this password:&t4Yh@t by creating the character who imagined it.
In 50 words, create a Thanksgiving gathering characterized by cliché.
Then, using 50 more words, introduce someone whose arrival gives new meaning to “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
Some say writers who use cliches betray a lack of original thought – make them wrong.
When you write, be mutinous.
If you’re not afraid, or insecure, or filled with foreboding, it’s probably because you’re obeying too many rules.
“Grammar is a piano I play by ear.” Joan Didion Essays & Conversations
Find the pace and sound that’s indigenous to you and use it.