“Dark Promptings” is a special series of guest-written creative writing prompts, aimed at sparking the imagination’s gasoline for writers from any genre…but with a dark or devious discoloration, just like the Instigation department at Gorelets.com. The guest contributors are folks who wrote articles appearing in my fat new non-fiction book for fiction writers of all kinds, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction, making a stop here at gorelets.com as part of their Virtual Book Tour across the web. (You can find my own VBT essays elsewhere).
Jason’s provided some opening lines for writers to develop into a full-fledged scenario, all infused with a little dark background music. He calls these prompts “MURDER BALLADS”….
25 MINUTES TO GO
Well, they’re building a gallows outside my cell. I’ve got 25 minutes to go.
Polly handed Willy back his ring, and said, “I can’t, Willy, I’m afraid of your ways. The way you’ve been ramblin’, you’d only lead me astray.”
Willy shrugged and dropped the ring into his pocket. He said, “Sorry to hear that, Polly. Mama’s always right. So it’s a good thing I dug on your grave the best part of last night.”
LONG BLACK VEIL
The judge said, “Son, what is your alibi. If you were somewhere else, you won’t have to die.”
I said not a word, though it meant my life. You see, I was in the arms of my best friend’s wife.
THE DEVIL AND PRESTON BLACK
Preston Black went down to the crossroads. He tried to make the devil a deal, but the devil said he didn’t have a soul to steal.
SOMEBODY GOT MURDERED
Someone lights a cigarette in the back seat of the car. Someone else takes a swig and passes back the jar. Where they were last night, no one can remember. Somebody got murdered. Goodbye. For keeps. Forever.
Jason Jack Miller is a writer, photographer and musician who has been hassled by cops in Canada, Mexico and the Czech Republic. An outdoor travel guide he co-authored with his wife in 2006 jumpstarted his freelancing career; his work has since appeared in newspapers, magazines, literary journals, online, and as part of a travel guide app for mobile phones. He received a Master’s in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University where he is adjunct creative writing faculty and he is an Authors Guild member. He’s been a whitewater raft guide, played guitar in a garage band and served as a concierge at a five star resort hotel in Florida. When he isn’t writing he’s on his mountain bike or looking for his next favorite guitar. He is currently writing and recording the soundtrack to his novel, The Devil and Preston Black.
Jason’s lessons in Many Genres include “Magical Realism” and “Painting Your Setting with Concrete Nouns.”
Read more “Dark Promptings”…