I am reading The Plague of Doves, by Louise Erdrich (which I recommend highly, btw!) and am struck by the layers and layers of storytelling that Louise presents to the reader and the number of narrators of these layered stories.
Louise nests these stories one inside the other with incredible skill. (I have no idea exactly how she does it, so don’t be waiting for a blog post about it) One of the many things I like about her style is her use of narrators from different time periods, narrators who are usually related to each other.
And then I realized that this was the foundation for a great WFMAD prompt!
Ready… Dig out a family album and locate a photo of someone from an earlier generation. It’s best if you don’t know too much about this person. OR Use this Google image search to find a photo that touches a nerve with you, for whatever reason. You’ll keep this photo in front of you as you write.
Set… “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” Stephen King
Today’s prompt: Launch from that photo and write for fifteen minutes. Start with a family story, if you want, but do NOT tell the official version of the story. Make up the unofficial version, the one that your character in the photo knows. Let the voice of someone you know, but you don’t know, carry away your imagination. Bonus points – find a way to weave this person and his story into your Work In Progress!
Scribble… Scribble… Scribble…
3 Replies to “WFMAD Day 10 – Reaching for New”
I love Louise Erdrich! One of my professors in college had us read one of her novels and I have been hooked ever since. I haven’ t read The Plague of Doves yet, but it is now on my list.
I love this prompt–not that I’m doing it, because I seem to have a touch of something that’s given me a brain-yuck for much of the day. No, I loved it, because it made me think instantly of the Great Aunt who Told the Truth. No matter how much my grandmother would try to put a good face on things, her youngest sister would let you know what really happened, no matter how wart-covered or otherwise unflattering it might be. In their cases, truth and fiction were often reversed.
Love this–and the photograph! The poem “The Chambered Nautilus” is part of the theme/symbolism in my WIP…which you will read soon! 🙂