Writing Prompts, Friday Writing Prompts

A Writing Prompt from Caitlin Horrocks

Each Friday we post a new writing prompt created by one of our authors. Prompts like this one are included in our reader's guides along with discussion questions and suggested further reading to accompany each title. So if you can't wait a week for the next prompt, visit our Sarabande in Education page to find them all in one place!

Today's prompt comes from This is Not Your City author, Caitlin Horrocks.


Time Piece

I give myself a lot of writing exercises, and when I’m lucky they result in full-fledged stories. “Zolaria” began as an assignment to myself:

Write a story which has a timeline in the present tense, but then contains both flashbacks and flash forwards—references to events that happened and those that haven’t yet, but will. The less-fun second half of this exercise is trying to make sure that your reader will be able to tell what the heck is going on. One draft of “Zolaria” had me crawling around on the floor with scissors, scotch tape, and a sheaf of disembodied paragraphs.