Audio Prompts in The Season of Open Windows

Ah, summer! The season of open windows. You’re in traffic heading to the shore, and all you can hear is the thumping bass from the car in the next lane over. You’re at your desk trying to work, but the people in the next building are holding Hawaiian Happy Hour, and the ukulele music is as loud as their shirts. You’re sitting at a sidewalk cafe to revise your latest short story, but you keep overhearing conversations from the crowds passing by.

It’s not all bad. Sure, this unwanted noise can stop the flow of the creative juices. But why not use these obstacles as opportunities--opportunities to create? Here are some ideas on how to find writing prompts in sound.

1. Pick a starting time, and write down the very next thing you hear someone say. Now use that line of dialogue in a piece of flash fiction.

2. Again, pick a specific starting time (so you can’t troll for what sounds like the “best” material), and jot down a brief overheard conversation. Then write the story that preceded it.

3. Using your smartphone, record a sound from your environment. Listen to it and make yourself imagine it in a new context. Write a story about this new place.

At The Drum, we’re working on integrating with Soundcloud so that writers can leave us little audio clips of their new work--stories you might write from these prompts, for instance. We also have some other cool ideas that we hope to put into place with Soundcloud soon. If you end up wiht a story you like from one of these prompts, send it to us--even if our Soundcloud gizmo isn’t ready yet! We’d love to hear from you.

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