Scene Prompt #16: The Imitation

For this prompt, we’re not going to think about our own work. At least not yet.

Instead of the Imitation, we might call this the Borrow or even the Steal. (But not the Copy!) What’s the saying? Bad artists copy; good artists borrow; great artists steal? Something like that? Well, whatever…

Think about some of your favorite books. Most of us write what we like to read, but even if you don’t, think of some of your favorite scenes in your favorite books. If you can, narrow those scenes down to ones that, with some tweaking, might actually work in your project–or at least aren’t entirely counter to it.

What did you like best about those favorite scenes? Make a list. Write down everything, from the big, how-it-started-out-seeming-like-X-and-then–Boom!–it-was-Y to the way a character emotion was portrayed to the tiny detail that, for you, made the scene. Doesn’t matter. It’s all good. Write it all down.

Now, think of the scene in your own story that came to mind as you did this–it almost always happens–the brain likes to make connections. So you thought of a scene. How can what you loved about this favorite scene be tweaked into your own scene? Make notes, draw parallels.

Write the scene.

(I think this goes without saying, but I feel as though I should say it anyway: We’re not copying any of the wording of these favorite scenes. We’re finding the patterns of scene, emotion, sentence, etc., that we loved and then filling the patterns with our own details. Got it? Okay, then.)

Book that inspired this prompt


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