quaranTEEN voices Writing Prompt: ‘Unexpected Inspiration’
Alicia Carroll, a native of Philadelphia, got her start in news before moving over to screenwriting. She is currently staffed on Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist on NBC, and has previously written for Crooked Media’s comedic live show and podcast, Lovett or Leave It, as well as the Facebook Watch series Text Stories, produced by New Form. Alicia is an advocate for consent-aware entertainment, which she discussed in her 2016 talk at TEDxBeaconstreet in Boston. She is also a 2019 Film Independent: Project Involve Fellow and a Women In Film: Insight Fellow, and one of the six 2020 Under 30 IAMA Playwriting Lab participants. Alicia is in post-production on her digital series, FISHING, and recently premiered her Project Involve short, Swim. Alicia is a graduate of Emerson College.
PROMPT 1: Write about a time when someone taught you something about yourself.
It’s a scary thing to think you don’t know yourself best, but sometimes an outside perspective can be a huge wake-up call. Think back to a time when someone else taught you something about yourself. What was your reaction to it? Did you agree initially? In hindsight, do you agree or disagree now? How did realizing this affect your behavior moving forward, if at all?
PROMPT 2: Write a scene between two or more people based around an overheard line of dialogue.
Whether it’s something you overhear at the dinner table, the subway, or on a stroll in your neighborhood, pick up a sentence or two from a passerby that grabs you. Then write it down before you forget it. The quote should be in the scene somewhere, use it as a jumping off point. While writing, consider the point of view of the person whose quote you chose. To aid you in your writing, consider the point of view of the person who said this. What happened to lead them to this conversation? This is an exercise I used to do when commuting to work to pass the time. It’s a great reminder that inspiration can come from anyone and everywhere, and if you just learn to listen, you will never run out of stories to tell.
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