Every Friday, we'll be posting prompts to inspire you into a weekend of writing. Whether you need a break from a long novel to write something short-and-quick or if you're stuck and need to do some free writing to start hearing your voice, our prompts might force you to turn back or stay on the page.
Two people are celebrating in a corner of a restaurant while you and your beloved stage a fight to get their attention. Why? What do you say to your beloved to escalate the fight? Who comes to pacify you? What do you do when they finally look over? Do you know them? Who's idea was it to ruin your dinner and seek this game? What did you hope to gain but instead lost?
Set the scene. Where is this restaurant? No story happens in a vacuum. What kind of food is being served? Is this a spot the couple comes to often or is it someplace that has just opened up? Is it expensive or a hole-in-the-wall? Does the restaurant have a theme? Use all five senses to describe the place and its decor. But rely, as one should when it comes to restaurants and food, on the sense of taste and smell more than sight alone.
Create character. How long have they known one another? What kind of relationship do they have? How have they already offended one another before we even begin the scene? Start the scene mid-way through and reveal the backstory (the couple's purpose for their fight) in-between dialogue.
Action. No story goes anywhere without proper action. Rely on strong verbs to carry your story forward. If you can - avoid repeating the same verb twice. Too much repetition of the same verb and the prose feels as if it is stagnating in action. Keep it moving.
Raise the stakes. What happens if they're successful in getting the couple's attention? What happens if they aren't?
What is undone in the story? They say no story is complete without a beginning, middle, and end. But, no story is really a story at all unless something has come undone--whether it's the restaurant's decor falling apart after a food fight or your beloved's dress sliding off, there has to be something that has irrevocably shifted by the last line.