Using a story prompt

We posted a list of “best things a patient ever said” to a psychiatrist.  I thought I’d take the list and show how you can create ideas from any springboard.


1. “People don’t do drugs to feel good. People do drugs to feel less bad.”

– vasovist”


Ask: is this true?  From your observations of people using drugs, alcohol, food, sex, or other sensory distractions, does it hold water?   When have YOU used these things to distract yourself from pain?  Or someone you know and love, or observed closely enough to have a solid opinion?

Did they get out of it?  Through it?  Were they consumed by it?  You have several  basic options: show someone  getting better, getting worse, or staying approximately even.  As I think the “approximately even” is an illusion, what you really have is UP or DOWN.   

So…create a character.   What is the pain they are escaping?  How do they escape?  What was their turning point up or down?  

Run through the chakras.  What level is the pain on?   Run through the Hero’s Journey.   Look at every point along the path.  What do they lack?  Have?  Where are they damaged, and refusing to move forward?

By the time you have done this, you will have a very good idea about the person, their issues, and what they need to move on. You then get to decide if they do.

(Warning: if YOU have not healed these issues in your own life, you are likely to believe it isn’t possible to heal.   So…I suggest that you choose an issue you HAVE healed. Then decide if you want the person to rise or fall. That is a responsible choice, rather than a self-serving one)

Remember that a short story is about a moment when someone changed. A decision or action that changes the course of a life.    Focus in on that, if possible maintaining the integrity of a 24-hour time frame.   

Again…what could YOU do with this story prompt?


Write with passion!


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