Writing prompt – true

Blue rectangle and reeds_Judy Darley

While walking beside a river on a particularly glorious day, I wanted to photograph the way the sunlight danced over reeds. When I looked at the photo I was disappointed to see a glitch in the form of a blue square marring the bucolic scene.

“I think there’s a glitch with my phone’s camera,” I grumbled, and my Lovely One shook his head.


He pointed across the river to Bristol’s Paintworks, where a bright, uncannily blue square adorned the top of a tower.

The point of this anecdote is that just because something looks unreal, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Our job as writers is to give the made up a sense of plausibility, but this can be extra challenging when it comes to writing real life. Reality is often implausible. Writers I’ve edited have sometimes protested, “But it really happened like that!”

Doesn’t matter what the truth is – what matters is what seems true, or stretching the truth. A plot point or character must fit the rules of the world you’ve created on the page or screen, regardless of whether you’re writing sci-fi or memoir.

Can you use this knowledge to strengthen or prompt a piece of your own writing?

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If you write or create something prompted by this idea, please let me know by emailing judydarley (at) iCloud.com. I’d love to know the creative direction you choose.