quaranTEEN voices Writing Prompt: ‘Getting Specific’


04/16/2021


Chelsea Sutton is a playwright, fiction writer, director, and immersive experience devisor for weird, fantastical dystopias with a sense of humor. She was a 2016 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and is a member of the Clarion UCSD 2020/21 Science Fiction and Fantasy Workshop. Her play Wood Boy Dog Fish, written with and produced by Rogue Artists Ensemble, received its second production in the inaugural season at the Garry Marshall Theatre in 2018. Her short story collection, Curious Monsters, was the runner-up for the 2018 Madeline P. Plonsker Emerging Writers Residency Prize. Her fiction has also appeared in Bourbon Penn, The Texas Observer, Exposition Review, Cosmonaut Avenue, Luna Station Quarterly, Pithead Chapel, Blood Orange Review, and Sequestrum. Chelsea holds an MFA from UC Riverside.

PROMPT: Let’s get specific.
Contrary to popular belief, any form of writing – from fiction to nonfiction to essays to performance – grows stronger with specificity. The more specific in detail, world, character, and point of view you can get about your story, the more universal and original it becomes. For this exercise, l want you to consider the character and world of Cinderella. That story has been reinvented and retold thousands of times – but not by you. Write 1-3 paragraphs exploring YOUR Cinderella as she navigates her world. Drop us into any moment of her story – cooking dinner for her step siblings, meeting the prince, talking to the mice, going to the grocery store, sweeping the floors of a space station millions of light years away. What does she see, hear, smell, taste, touch, think? What is her culture, language, attitude? If you’re stuck, pay attention this week to the world around you. Notice how all five senses respond to your world and image who Cinderella would be within it. It can be anything you want, just be specific!

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