Writing Prompt: Childhood Fears Realized

Theresa Miller by Theresa Miller
 
With my eyes closed all I can see is rust and mold. The walls are slimy and wet. I start to run and am yanked back by a giant ball of hair stuck to a jagged edge. Not knowing who or what else was down here, I try not to react too loudly. I slowly open my eyes. Still darkness. Still slimy walls and balls of hair. I have fallen in.
 
You know who writes kick-ass coming-of-age shorts? Ben Loory. You know who has a 1-day short story class coming up? Ben Loory. This award winning writer has had his stories featured in The New Yorker, Gargoyle Magazine, Pank, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Antioch Review, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, The Rattling Wall, Quick Fiction, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. His book Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day (Penguin, 2011) is now in its fifth printing, and was chosen as a selection of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Program and named one of the 10 Best Fiction Books of the Year by Hudson Booksellers. Wow, right?
 
In his class, Loory will share his recipe for crafting an irresistible short story! Through fun, in-class writing exercises and an engaging craft talk, he’ll help you brainstorm new ideas, and write a draft of a Pulitzer prize winning gem. Written a story with something missing? Loory will help find the weakness in your piece’s structure, retrofit the spine, and patch up any narrative holes. Through focused workshopping, you’ll breathe new life into an old fixer upper in this 1-day Writing Reboot. By the end of the class, you’ll have unstuck your tale and have a good sense of how to transform it into a literary masterpiece that can withstand the huffing and puffing of the sharpest critic.
 
Take a look at Writing Pad’s roster of classes below. They’re guaranteed to get your creative juices flowing, teach you invaluable techniques, and help you write an amazing story. We hope to see you at a class soon! And keep reading below the links for this week’s writing prompt.
 
2014 Classes
 
Journalism/Web Writing

You In 1200 Words: Writing The Personal Essay

Personal Essay Clinic

So You Want To Be A Freelancer

You’ve Been Featured: Writing The Review Or Interview For Magazines Or Newspapers

You In 1200 Words: Writing and Publishing The Personal Essay (5 Wk)

YOU IN 1200 WORDS: WRITING AND PUBLISHING THE PERSONAL ESSAY (ONLINE) 

Get Your Essay Or Article Published: A Query Letter Clinic
 
Fiction/Memoir/Poetry

A Novel Approach: Crafting The Page Turner (1 Day)

DC’s Word Parlor: A Creative Writing Intensive

Writingpalooza Online

Short and Sweet: A Short Story Workshop

Writing Reboot: A Short Story Clinic

Short, Smart and Literary: Writing and Publishing The Modern Short Story (5 WK)

ZOMBIES, WITCHES, AND KILLER ROBOTS: SCIENCE FICTION AND URBAN FANTASY WRITING

A Novel Approach: Mastering The Long Format Writing Project (Online 7 Wk)

Memorable Memoir Bootcamp

A NOVEL APPROACH: TACKLING THE LONG FORMAT WRITING PROJECT (5 WK)

SHORT STORY OVERDRIVE: AN ADVANCED SHORT FICTION WORKSHOP

Writing Accessible Poems
 
Writing for Actors
STORY TIME: A PERFORMED ESSAY WORKSHOP (1 DAY)

STORY TIME PLUS: A PERFORMED ESSAY WORKSHOP (5 WK)

Grand Slam Story: A Storytelling Workshop (7 Wk Online)

From The Page To The Stage: A One-Person Show Workshop

MUSICAL MAYHEM: CRAFTING THE COMEDIC SONG

It’s All About You: A One-Person Show Intensive

STORYTELLING ON YOUR FEET: AN IMPROVISED STORYTELLING WORKSHOP
 
Screenwriting Classes
From Mad Men to Game of Thrones: Writing the TV Drama (1 DAY)

FROM PITCH TO FIRST DRAFT: WRITING THE TELEVISION DRAMA (7 WK)

Precision Revision: A Comedy Revision Class

Politicos, Jailbirds And Werewolves: Writing The Cable Pilot

Million Dollar Script: A Movie Writing Intensive

Instructor: Chris Reed

Coverage Madness: A Script Coverage Workshop

FROM SLASHERS TO BODY SNATCHERS: WRITING THE HORROR SCREENPLAY

Dream It, Write It, Pitch It: Screenwriting Bootcamp

SNL DOSSIER: YOUR TICKET TO THE BIG LEAGUES

 

Publishing Classes

Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop

Publishpalooza: A Book Proposal Writing Workshop (5 Wk)

HOW TO HOOK AN AGENT: BREAKING INTO YA

 

 
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When I was a kid, I hated getting my hair washed because I was afraid I’d fall down the drain. The fear is much more terrifying if you vividly imagine it actually happening! Tell us your biggest childhood fears as if they have actually occurred. Bring that closet monster to life! Write for 10 minutes and include lots of sensory detail.
 
Once free, I trudge forward as cautiously as I can. I have been told about alligators in the drain and want to keep a lookout. My eyes move frantically in the dark. I can hear the muffled echoes of my mother’s voice, calm, on the outside. Does she know I’m here? Hasn’t she realized? I can only see faint shadows that form on top of dim flickers of light. I don’t know how long the drain is or where it goes, but I do know how I got here.
 
I’d begged her to let me dry wash my hair. I begged her for days. But according to my mother, it was time to get my hair washed properly. The first few minutes were not abnormal. Besides the discomfort I felt when my shoulder blades ground into hard counter, I was fine. Then, she rinsed. There must have been some sort of space portal opened. That sounds stupid, but it’s the only way I can explain the drain becoming a vacuum and sucking me inside. I knew this would happen eventually, but hadn’t prepared for it. She has to turn the water on eventually, I think. I stop walking and sit. And wait.
 
We want to here your answers to our writing prompts! Reply with your own story in the comments below and you could win a free class!
 

Comments
  1. Sean K.