Posted by: victanguera | January 11, 2010

Writing Prompt #122

I’m reading the Japanese fairy tale My Lord Bag of Rice. In it, a warrior goes looking for adventure. He comes across a dragon sleeping on a bridge. As he’s a fearless warrior, he walks over top of the dragon to the other side. The dragon turns out to be a king and requests the warriors help. When the warrior agrees, the Dragon King leads him to his palace.

Under the lake. Like hello, fire. Water. You can see my hand trying to balance those two concepts out, right?

That got me thinking about how we can play around with commonly held notions and twist them. Stephanie Meyer made a fortune with sparkly vampires (not that I’m endorsing such a queer idea). She took a common notion about the inability of vampires to walk in daylight, and twisted it.

So for today’s prompt, think about commonly held notions: all space aliens have googly bug eyes; all side-kicks for the bad guys could do stand in for mentally challenged mob thugs; all men in romance books are devastatingly handsome and a wee bit perfect. You get the idea.

Now turn that on its ear. The side-kick has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and does skulduggery on weekends so he can afford to get a Master’s Degree; the romance lead is a klutz, wears geeky Buddy Holly glasses, and wears his trousers up around his armpits (ooh god, that’s not very romantic); and the alien… okay, two out of three and all that.

Hum, it might even give our characters a bit of depth.


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