Monday, June 25, 2012

Riddles and Prophesies and Puzzles, Oh my!

Riddle me this?

Do you know Blain the Mono and his riddle game? Have you read Stephen King's Gunslinger series?

How about Tolkien's The Hobbit?

What's it got in it's pocketssss?

Or Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins, where prophecy acts as riddle?

So many stories, be they thrillers, mysteries, fantasy, science fiction, or contemporary (AS King's Everybody Sees the Ants) are dependent on secrets that need to be figured out by both the protagonist and, at the same time, the reader. Sometimes they are obvious plot points and sometimes they are games within the larger story that resonate again and again. Prophecies are great plot devices that can act as riddles for larger (macro) stories that surround the details of smaller ones, revealed over the length of a book or the course of a series of books. They are especially satisfying, just like a good riddle, when solved.

What's it got in it's pocketsss?

So here's the writing prompt for this Monday, a day filled with the promise of futures to be revealed. Write me a riddle, a prophecy, a puzzle, a trap, or an opening mystery - anything that needs to be solved that starts a scene. The character(s) are up to you, as is the time, place, genre. It can be short - a single sentence, or long (but no more than 100 words). But give us something to be solved and make us ask, "What happens next?" Oh yeah, give us a title too, just to make it interesting...

We'll take submissions through next week, July 5th and post the best.
- Joe

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