This week’s matches all come through the lens of memory, which I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately thanks to a few projects coming near to their completion and my awareness of just how little I truly can rely on my notes to myself. I write things like, “Include [X] here,” with no helpful reminders of what I meant by [X]. So. Yeah. Memory.
If this is your first visit to my prompts (or ‘matches’) it’s in honour of a book called The Writer’s Book of Matches. It has 1,001 little prompts that are designed to give you something to work with. I often flip through it when I’m in the mood to just write without a specific focus. The book has three kinds of prompts: A single line of dialog; a scenario or situation; and assignment prompts where the book lists a series of three characters all reacting to a particular moment/event, and since I first got it, I’ve been noting my own prompts to myself the same way.
If you ever find success or just fiddle around with any of these ‘matches,’ please do let me know!
- After an accident, a man stops dreaming. Instead of dreaming, he somehow starts to dream the life of the father he never knew, as his father was living it at the same age, one day each night. His father died not much older than he is now, however, and he starts to wonder what will happen when he dreams the death.
- “You might not remember me, but believe me: I remember you. Now, if you want to live, you’re going to listen very, very carefully to what I’m about to ask you.”
- After making a new—and happy—life for himself post-amnesia, a man who was found unconscious after a disaster is contacted by someone who claims to be his estranged child.
- An amateur art collector with tetrachromancy notices a pattern in a famous artist’s paintings that seem to be a message telling the untold story of what happened to the artist and the woman the artist loved.
- In an attempt to monitor neurological activity in comatose patients, a doctor and an engineer accidentally invent a way to record—and play back—memories. The engineer’s wife is a police officer, who immediately sees the value in her spouse’s invention for solving crime. Write the scene from the point of view of the three characters: The police officer, who has a case she’s working on where a comatose patient using the device might be able to lead her to the attempted murderer; the engineer, who wants to balance the police officer’s desire for justice and their marriage with the knowledge of how this technology could end up in the wrong hands so very easily; the doctor, who is absolutely against what he sees as a truly invasive mistake.
See you next week, and by all means, drop any prompts of your own in the comments!