Tuesday 21 January 2014

Writing Prompts: Q's

I've decided that this year, I'm going to start a new monthly feature on my blog: Writing Prompts! Each month, I'm going to take a writing prompt, and try to do it on this blog, for all to see. I'm hoping that it will give you, my dear readers, an idea of my writing style (so that you might buy my stories <hint> <nudge>), ;) but also that it will help me to improve my writing skills, and also give me inspiration and new ideas for stories.

This month's prompt was one that I randomly stumbled across on the Internet a few weeks back, but I can't remember where. It went something like this:

Pick ten random words that begin with the letter Q, and write a paragraph beginning with each.
So I found a list of Words that start with Q from ScrabbleFinder. I pasted all the words into one long list, and used random.org to randomise the list. Then I picked the top ten.

Here goes:

  1. Queer how language use has changed, isn't it? Just look at the word "queer". Originally meant as something strange or weird, it's now a word commonly used by gay people to describe themselves. Kind of makes sense, I guess. Unlike faggot. What a bundle of wood has to do with a gay man, I'll never know!
  2. Qwertys is a valid word in Scrabble, according to the ScrabbleFinder website. Strange game, Scrabble. I've of course heard of "qwerty", the first six letters of the most commonly used keyboard in the English-speaking western world today, but I've never heard it in plural. Have you ever used a non-qwerty keyboard? Dvorjak, maybe? It's weird how a keyboard layout, designed to slow typists down, is still so popular today!
  3. Quotes are really popular today. "Words of Wisdom" quotes, funny quotes, and religious quotes; people love to post them all over social networks, and make quirky little memes out of them with cartoons and photographs. But have you ever stopped to wonder how many of them were really spoken by the person they're attributed to? "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." was never spoken by Edmund Burke, and Einstein never uttered the famous "definition of insanity"! How many others do we continually share, blissfully unaware that they're complete and utter hogwash?
  4. "...Quickens his pulse, as she runs her fingers seductively down his-" Oh, sorry. Are you still here? I was just reading... oh, it doesn't matter. What were you saying? Yes, yes, I'll get to it in a minute, I promise. No, I won't let it get into the state that it was in last week. The books will be in order before I leave today! Although who put Downs before Brookes yesterday is a mystery to me. Does nobody know the order of letters in the alphabet any more? Good grief! It almost makes me want to give up the library, sometimes.
  5. "Quite, yes," muttered Charles as James was finished his rant. But Charles wasn't particularly paying attention. James was a good friend, but he could really drone on sometimes. Just at this minute, it was about the state of the education system. James was saying that all teachers should be fired, and parents should begin teaching their children at home, from now on. Something about allowing all children to be educated in their own culture, according to their own pace. Charles could see his friend's point, but the topic was simply not one that interested him. He was far more concerned about his new device, which he said would revolutionise reading by eliminating the need for paper. His contemporaries thought he was crazy, and James wouldn't let him get a word in edgewise, to tell him about it. Well, they would soon see, he thought.
  6. Qurshes? No, man! This is South Africa; what would I do with a Qursh? What? Saudi Arabia, you say? Well how on earth did I get here, then? Bah, no matter. Do you take Rands? I really could use that water, you know. Thirsty, so thirsty! No Rands. Hmm.... Hey, you there, can I buy some Qurshes off you? How many Rands? Two Hundred Rand for one? Oh very well. Here you go. Ah, a Qursh. I've never seen one of those before. Now then, my good man, how many Qurshes for a water? Twenty? But I only have one, and no more Rands to buy any more. Oh, well....
  7. Qindars? What now? But I was just in Saudi Arabia, and the gentleman wanted twenty Qurshes for a water. And now I'm in... ALBANIA?! Oh boy, here we go again! What's that humming sound to my left? It looks a little like a telephone booth, shimmering with blue electricity. Perhaps if I stepped in there, I would get back to my beloved South Africa. Oh dear, I am so lost!
  8. Quakers! Four of them, just over that rise. Be quiet, they have guns. In their fanatical beliefs, we are nothing but heretics. Never mind that we want to preserve the old ways. They believe that we are all priests. We believe that only the ordained can be priests. We must get past them, into their compound. We must get the Ark out of their possession, before they destroy it!
  9. Quays. On one of these quays is the boat we're looking for. And inside it, a million Rand's worth of cocaine. Enough to set someone up for life. But we need to be careful. The Cool Kids are also looking for it. This is war, my friend. Drug wars like these can get ugly. Here is no-man's-land, but not for long. Whomever gets their hands on this haul claims these quays for their gang, and we'll earn a hefty reward from the boss if we come through. Come on, let's go!
  10. Quashed, that's the word he used to describe what had happened to the charge. John knew that he should be relieved. He knew that he should be grateful, but still he couldn't fight off the intense guilt that now pounded in his chest. He hadn't meant to kill the man, but he had done so anyway. And now that the charge had been quashed, nobody would ever know. But he still would, he and his God would know. As he hung up the phone after hearing the news that the charge had gone away, he realised that he had changed his mind. Still seeing the face of the poor man as the last inch of life had left him, he set off towards the nearest police station, to confess to everything.
Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be, but also strangely freeing! What do you think? Did you enjoy this small insight into how my mind works? Would you like me to do it again?

Are there any of these ideas that you'd like me to explore further, maybe feature such a scene or concept in a story, or base an entire story around them? Please let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

Oh, and I should point out that numbers six and seven were not put there deliberately, nor were they put in that order deliberately. Strange how randomness works, sometimes!

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