Prompts and plots

(I was facilitator for our group Writer's Calling last month, and each week I sent out prompts to encourage folks to write.  One week I sent a list of prompts that included writing a piece from the point of view of a dog bed, or the point of view of the first plant to sprout from a seed blown onto a tiny new island.  None of which inspired much response.  When I sat down to respond myself, I had just read a chapter on developing plots.  Anyway, this is my explanation for the response I wrote, as shown below.)
I love this set of quotes that introduce Brigid Lowry's chapter "Plot" in her book, Juicy Writing:
  • The cat sat on the mat. No story. The cat sat on the dog's mat. Story. ~ Anon
  • The king died and then the queen died. Story. The king died and then the queen died of grief. Plot. ~ E.M. Forster
  •  Often I'll find clues to where the story might go by figuring where the characters would rather not go. ~ Doug Lawson
  •  Don't say the old lady screamed - bring her on and let her scream. ~ Mark Twain
Now I have never developed a plot in my whole life, but I do enjoy presenting ideas, situations, episodes. In light of that I present a little something:

The family is fond of mentioning, whenever another piece of stuffing falls out of me, that I was last the bed of a dachshund, that furiousdiggingforbadgers breed, so I suppose it scrabbled a hole in me. But, being a dog bed, I am not privy to my “previous lives” with other dogs. My first memory is of my current Mopsy flopping on me by the hearth here in the family room. Mopsy is an Old English Sheepdog; apparently she was rescued from a place without a dog bed, for she lays upon me whenever in the room, although the family is also fond of pointing out that she very mellow, unlike your typical goofball OES. I’ve learned a great deal about dog breeds from this family, with their voracious appetite for books of all sorts. I guess I’m just fine with being laid on all day, I’m a bed after all, and have no sense of…anything really although I must be able to hear. But I cannot see, or smell, or taste or touch, and I know what those are for I have heard the Child discussing these things.

Right now the Child is near me by the hearth, doing homework and telling Mopsy not to drool. On me. Well, I don’t care, for I will be thrust into the washing machine and hear the thrumming and then into the dryer and hear the other thrumming. It’s a nice change of pace.

The Child is working on a writing prompt; the teacher’s assignment being to write a piece “from the point of view of the first plant to sprout from a seed blown onto a tiny new island.” At first there was muttering about what a stupid prompt this was and why must I do them weekly, blah blah blah, but now there is only the scratching of the pencil and I know that soon Mopsy will be read a story and I will hear it. What a treasure to bestow on an old dog bed!

If you are a writer, my advice to you is, write it down and spread it around. It is much appreciated by someone or something.

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