The last two Short Stories I’ve written “The Lion” and “Maggie Stuart” were based off of some writing prompts a fellow writer came up with (if you’re reading this Lovy, they’re fabulous and I hope you’re feeling much better). If anyone wants to read some of her stuff her blog is Lovy Boheme here's a link: http://lovyboheme.blogspot.com/
One prompt was “You take one last gasp, mutter an apology and pulled the fire alarm at the mall” I used that in “Maggie Stuart” which at the time had no titled. I began by wondering what would push me to pull the fire alarm at the shopping mall, not a dare or prank; it would take something like, what the fire alarm is supposed to be used for: an emergency. Thinking of exciting scenarios I picked, I confess the easiest for me to write about, then ran with it and I got the story which would eventually be titled “Maggie Stuart”.
The Second prompt had something close to this “When I first took the picture I didn’t realize it might cost me my life” I know that’s not it, but you get the general idea. I kept the danger in the situation but let the main character, a passionate photographer, feel perfectly at ease in the situation, transferring the feeling of safety to the reader, who may very well be terrified of lions, and no one dies.
It still amazes me how a story can be developed from only a sentence or phrase.