“It’s just a Game”

Even though it’s full of newness, January can be a hard month for me, especially as a creative and a school teacher.

Creatively, I have all of these ideas I want to accomplish for the year, while at the same time, I have to jump back into my day job after a great break where I’ve had a refresh on my creativity. Plus, my students usually don’t want to be back in school either and they often show it.

So this year I decided to do things differently. Instead of doing research or reading novels they don’t like, I decided to go the creative route. I started off the year with a creative writing unit, and these first two weeks back have been great: both for my students and my own creativity.

As we’ve explored some contemporary short stories and just what exactly makes a story, I’ve ended class every day with a creative prompt, getting my students writing. The culmination of this unit is for them to write their own short stories. Writing on a prompt everyday gives them a plethora of choices so when it comes time for drafting, they won’t have to worry about the blank page.

My hope is that they’ll find a prompt they enjoy and cling to it, ultimately, letting their stories flow from the work we’ve been doing. The best part is that I’ve been writing alongside them, and though not every 10 minute prompt will turn into something, I’ve been exercising my imagination, building up my on writing habit.

My favorite prompt so far has been this one:

It was just a game, of course. But it was more than that, and everyone knew it. They were from the upscale part of town, and we were from the wrong side of the tracks. Literally. North of the rail line.

This week, we move into the drafting phase, and I couldn’t be more excited to write my own short story. It’s a medium I’ve wanted to try for awhile now, but just haven’t yet because I’m so immersed in my novel world. Since I teach multiple senior classes and have been sticking with the same prompt each day, I’ve really tried expanding my writing and creating a new story for the prompt each hour. This one turned out two pieces of writing that interested me and I thought I’d share them here!

One of these versions is for sure getting turned into a complete story, as I’ve already expanded on it, but the writer in me definitely wants to explore the other version as well. It’s really neat to me to see how one prompt can take so many turns! That’s the power of imagination.

I’d love to know your thoughts on my writing snippets, AND which which one do you think I’m expanding. Let me know your guess in the comments!