Inside a Writer’s Mind 28: The Inevitability Bias – 501 Prompts

There’s been talk about the epidemic for a while now. I wasn’t worried until they announced schools were shutting down past Friday. That’s when I realized, shit, this is more than just a media panic.

The next couple of days were extremely stressful for me. I work as a martial arts coach mainly with kids and teens. With schools closing, all my projects got canceled, and I had to pause my regular work until there’s an all-clear announcement.

While I’m not particularly concerned about my own health, my economic existence crumbled away from one second to the next. By now, we’ve figured out a plan, and I’m giving online classes for my students to help them out during all of this.

Still, the safety measures we’re putting in place as a society and global community are right and important.

A whole lot of people are still in denial about the seriousness, coming up with false facts, sowing even more insecurity, fear, and hate just for the clicks and money. I have nothing but disgust for those people.

I’m not trying to explain anything because I’m far from being an expert. There is a lot of information out there and I sincerely hope that you find a media source that is trustworthy and reliable. Please, take the situation seriously. Stay the fuck at home.

My Prompts & Other Projects

Of course, all these developments had a massive impact on my creative life.

I’m at home the entire day now, but I haven’t gotten the headspace to write anything of substance. It’s okay, and I know that it’ll change eventually. Artistic work and entertainment may not be among the essential jobs that carry on now, but it still is crucial for us to let off steam and somehow find ways to deal with the current state of the world.

That’s why I want to continue my prompts as long as I can, maybe even up the number of prompts I post per week.

That said, Prompt 28: The Inevitability Bias fell right into this weird spot where my whole world was turning upside down.

Initially, I was not fond of the prompt at all. It sets up a story with enough room to color in, but it just didn’t speak to me on a creative level. The ideas I had went nowhere and if they did it felt stale.

Sunday night, I decided to sit down and write out whatever came to my mind. There’s not much to talk about the planning and writing stage.

The Editing

In contrast, the editing was clear cut. I had this raw story and knew how I wanted to cut, trim, and change its pace to make it better.

When I start writing, I know the first few sentences are basically a warm-up. The story started way earlier in the timeline with a lot of set-up. In the early version, Jeff was restocking the store, and there was a ton of exposition before the supposed customer came in.

To jump quickly into action, I cut most of these initial sentences. Some got used in later descriptions or build the framework for the setting. That way, the first few paragraphs still had their use, even though I deleted them.

I usually don’t go much into detail for the characters in these prompts because, so far, none of them have shown up again, and I didn’t need more than a single image.

But even in my longer projects, I don’t plan out my characters. I know more or less what I want them to do, and start writing. Of course, the first drafts end up messy and inconsistent, but I believe that’s how people are.

I don’t care about their favorite color, food, or which activities they were into as a kid if it has nothing to do with the story. Not saying that it’s wrong to do. It just doesn’t help my process.

In the case of this story, I think not knowing the characters helps the scene I put them in. It’s tense, it’s about life and death. At least for Jeff. He doesn’t know why she’s there, nor what’s going to happen, and neither does the reader.

Is she what people would call crazy and violent? Is she just a deeply hurt person lashing out? To me, the story profits from leaving this up to its reader to decide.

The ending was a last-minute addition while formatting the story for the blog. It’s bitter with a pinch of dark humor. Does it put a twist on the entire story and how the characters behave? I don’t know. I don’t know anything.

I’m planning to work on more prompts and announce the prompt early enough that you can join me in the project if you want to. Watch out for my Twitter for more info on this.

Read you soon!