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A Broken Instrument (Writing Prompts)

Writing Challenges Writing Prompts

A Broken Instrument (writing prompts)

Two new people wrote with us! Hello!

Do eet again?

I love, love, endlessly love to see these prompts through your eyes so please, share again what you see with us?

And for anyone who wants a nudge about how to do this, I can highly recommend the JUMP IN WITHOUT THINKING school of writing.

You're here.


Don't think.


Glance at the prompts and the first thing to arrive to your fingers goes on the page. This is by far the easiest way for me to do these and maybe it'll work for you?

It's Time to Take Time to Write

For the If Time Stood Still prompt we were gifted with time…

If time stood still, I would find you.
I would finally have the chance to get close to you, to see if you smell as much like home as I have always imagined. I could find out if your fingernails are manicured or bitten; and whether your face has laugh lines or tiny scars. I would finally know all of the tiny details I’ve been dying for.
And I would still miss you.
I will read my way through the world, synapses blazing with networks of new thoughts, new tales, new connections. They say that all the stories have been told already. They never reached far enough. They never walked deep enough into the inferno, words and words and words lapping like white hot rolling waves, until the consuming and the consumption are indistinguishable from one another.
“Come on,” she pipes, “come on, comeoncomeoncomeon!”
“What?” I grumble.
“You promised to go exploring past the river with Tineo and me today!”
“I’m not even warm yet!”
“You’re getting as slow as grandmother Pyraloidea!”
“Please, I uncooned only two days before you.”
the leaf is attached
and then it falls
how do we bridge the gap
from one moment to the next
when they never touch
Swear, complain, call me names – I’m used to all of it.
You say you hate me but at the same time you crook a finger at your friend – so good, the best! – and you say, “C’mere, listen to this.”
And you know. You know what you’re doing to them and you do it without regret because…
Welladay Jupiter Knight was a witch, like her mother before her, and her mother before her, and so on and on, back to the first of her line. The matriarch of this clan: Prudence Hawthorne Knight.
Every woman in this very old and very magical family could perform some kind of magic. Wella’s mother, Providence Star Knight, was a weather-witch. She knew when and how much
Heaven is the sound of a lone kookaburra chuckling the day awake. It’s the trickle of a hidden creek. The song of the bell and the lyre, the whip and the butcher, the wagtails and the shrike-thrush.
Heavenly fog, and mist, and chill. Drips dropped from on high, from canopies in the sky. The smell of good rot, soil, and bark. Mossy tufts and fairy wrens, sticks covered in lichen.

Remember, just go. Don't think. Go. Write. Start now…whatever came to your mind now.


More Writing Challenges
If Time Stood Still
The Burning Sea
Take Courage

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  • Narrelle Harris on

    It’s a pretty phrase, the rift within the lute. It sounds minor and musical.

    It is the little rift within the lute
    That by and by will make the music mute
    And ever widening slowly silence all

    And there’s the terror in it. That music will lose its voice. That our music will lose its voice. That will we lose each other. Because of a tiny crack, some inconsequential, infinitesimal hair fracture, we will be rendered voiceless, silent, alone, singularly single and bereft.

    Tennyson was writing about Vivien seducing and imprisoning Merlin. Manipulating him so he’d teach her spells. And trust me not at all or all in all.

    What bullshit.

    Be perfect or be done.

    The slightest disagreement is the end of everything.

    I’m not a lute, made for just one purpose, with one kind of voice. You’re not my minstrel, made to play me only just so. Nor, of course, the other way around.

    We are, both of us, an orchestra and also the symphony. We are the conductor and the first violin and the one who hits the triangle; we are brass and wood and wind and wire. We change as we play the music of our lives – the same song never sounds the same twice; the same instruments make different music over and over. We’re the silence between notes, too.

    And if our lute sometimes has a little rift in it, if our orchestra pauses, if our song sometimes stumbles and isn’t always harmonious.

    Well. We’ll find new notes, new instruments, and sing again.

    We’re as mutable as rain on glass, shiny as diamonds, with as many facets.

    Screw you, Vivien.

  • Anarion on

    I’ve been working for three days without pause. I haven’t eaten. I haven’t slept. But none of that is important. Time is running out and I have not succeeded. But this is it, I can feel it!

    The workshop is a huge mess. The spell book is covered with dirty fingerprints and droplets of candle wax, on the table there are shards of molten glass from previous tries, spilled liquids and powders in blue and purple, singed pieces of paper and three dead mice.

    But now everything is ready for the last, the final try. This time it will work! The only thing missing is you and you’ll be here soon!

    And then I’ll take you away from here to a place where we won’t age or die. When this works, we will be together forever, hidden away from the world!

    I can already hear your footsteps. I light the candle and grab the mouse.


    “Wow, what happened here? It looks like his latest experiment exploded!”

    “And where is he? I told him I don’t have much time, there’s so much to do before the wedding tomorrow.”

    “But you’re soft and you couldn’t resist his puppy eyes.”

    “He said it was important. I think the word he used was ‘imperative’.”

    “He’s always so dramatic. And honestly, I think he’s a creep. You’re far too nice to him, meeting him the evening before you’re wedding.”

    “Don’t be mean! But you’re right, I have dinner plans with my in-laws. Let’s go. Whatever it was, he can tell me tomorrow.”

    “Wait, look. I think he left something for you. Here, on the table. Oh, it’s a diamond! Did he make you a diamond?”

    “Aaww, that’s so sweet! And it’s beautiful!”

    “Are you not gonna take it?”

    “No, I’m gonna leave it here. He worked so hard on this, he’ll want to give it to me himself!”


    I shout and slam my fists against the walls of my diamond prison, but you don’t hear me. I watch you walk away from me forever, my view jumbled by the facets, like looking through a kaleidoscope.

  • hardboiledbaby on

    There is grit in this broken instrument of mine
    Sand and rust and decay
    What used to be clear is now blurry
    What had been obvious is now obscure
    Words don’t flow quickly onto the page anymore
    Once-nimble thoughts languish in the brown study of resistance

    And yet.

    The thoughts somehow break free, slowly but inexorably
    The words persist, halting though they may be
    The struggle continues, driven by a single purpose:
    This is my story. It fought to live. Let it stand in the light.

    Yes, there is grit in this broken instrument.
    Still, it runs.
    Still, it fights.

  • The Honeyed Moon on

    I am human and strong
    Sharp and crystalline like
    A diamond.

    One single piece of the larger

    I am not a broken instrument.
    But I am frightened.

    The glass is clouded,
    I can’t see what’s next.

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