Writing Prompt Wednesdays: Trapped in a building in the middle of nowhere!

Writing Prompt Wednesdays: Trapped in a building in the middle of nowhere!

Welcome to “Writing Prompt Wednesdays,” a haven where your imagination can roam free in the realms of speculative fiction. As we embark on this weekly journey, it’s thrilling to think about the untold stories waiting to be penned in the domains of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Whether you’re a seasoned author or a budding wordsmith, these prompts are your gateway to unexplored worlds and untapped potentials.

Every Wednesday, we’ll serve up a fresh, thought-provoking prompt designed to ignite your creative spark and challenge your storytelling prowess. Think of these prompts as a key, unlocking the doors to uncharted territories where your creativity is the only limit. From eerie, shadow-laden corridors of Gothic horror to the farthest reaches of interstellar space, and the mystical depths of high fantasy, our prompts are a kaleidoscope of possibilities.

Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to approach these prompts. They are mere stepping stones, guiding you towards the vast landscapes of your imagination. Use them to break free from writer’s block, to experiment with new ideas, or simply as a fun exercise to keep your writing skills sharp.

This week’s writing prompt:

Poke fun at me this week. The story begins when your protagonist finds themselves locked in a building in the middle of nowhere. Start there and go where your imagination takes you. Maybe they MacGyver their way out, maybe they starve to death waiting for help, or maybe it’s a trap set by some more dangerous predator.

This prompt, for those who don’t read our newsletter, was inspired by the following:

Hi readers, and welcome back. My birthday was this past weekend, and my significant other took me hiking, and to three different bookstores to celebrate. While we were hiking, we came to a little campsite with a restroom. It was a small room that contained a compostable toilet. I went in, and the locking mechanism on the door got stuck. When I tried to leave, I realized (to my horror) that I was locked in. Luckily, I figured out pretty quickly what was wrong, but in those few minutes when I was turning the lever on the door and nothing was happening, I was terrified. I found myself looking around the room for details – the garbage had been taken out, the paper rolls were filled, and the room itself was clean, which meant someone came by regularly to maintenance it. There were windows for ventilation, but they were too high for me to reach. There was a small square grate/vent about a foot from the floor with screws on the cover that I could possibly have unscrewed. It was unlikely I could have crawled through the hole, but someone could pass things to me through the hole if necessary.

From the time I realized that the door wouldn’t open, my brain automatically went into what I like to refer to as “solutions mode,” where I started to pay closer attention to the details of my surroundings out of necessity. If the lock had not stuck, I might not have noticed the height of the windows, or the size of the vent. I only registered those details when they became relevant to my situation. After a few minutes, I decided to inspect the lever on the door (to see if it could be removed), and it was when I did that that I noticed the locking mechanism was stuck in the position between lock/unlock. Pushing the button activated the lock completely, and pressing it once more disengaged the lock. What I learned from this situation is how necessity breeds close observation. I didn’t pay close attention until I was in trouble. What might this mean for protagonists that find themselves in a bad situation? For me, it means that those are the places in my story where I need to slow down and make sure my character is giving their environment consideration. They may notice small details that didn’t seem important at first, but a close moment of focus in a story invites you to provide more details than you might normally.

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