Sunday, March 3, 2019

Telling Tales with Magaly Guerrero: a Pantry of Prose, #1 ~ Written by You

Greetings, everyone. I hope your muse is in a short story-birthing mood... Because today, we (and by “we” I mean “me”) invite you to tell a tale. Yep, you read me right: Let us prose.


For the prompt, we will keep in mind this definition of prose: written or spoken language in a form that is natural to the characters in your story. Your story can be fiction or creative nonfiction. No poetry.

Choose one of the following, and tell me a tale (the 1st choice will be recurrent, so you can always write ahead if you like):

1st choice: take a poem, written by you, and turn it into a short story of 313 words or fewer. Show your inspiration—share a link to the poem or an image of the poem at the end of your post.

or

2nd choice: take a current news headline and write a short story, in 313 words or fewer, set 30 years after today, where the main character tells the tale of how the event(s) described in your chosen article has affected her or his life. Share a link to the article at the end of your post.

or

3rd choice: write a short story, in 313 words or fewer, based on a personal experience (perfect for creative nonfiction *wink-wink*).


I will post a new prompt on the 1st Sunday of the month. The post will remain open until Tuesday night. Entries not written in prose will be deleted. One story per participant, please. Do visit other storytellers. Share your thoughts about their tales. Have a blast.

So, let’s (un)kill something good.


53 comments:

  1. Posted mine. It's one word less than 313. Happy Sunday everyone :)

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    1. Thank you, Sumana. Can't wait to read it. I hope you have a fantastic day.

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  2. Alas, I am a recalcitrant poet and/or the cerebral rather than imaginative kind of non-fiction writer – but I love reading other people's stories, so I'm going to have a great time with the Pantry of Prose! Welcome and thank you, Magaly.

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  3. I will try to write one, but I cannot promise that my prose is free from meter and other poetic devices. I will most likely use one of my poems and expand to fiction.

    Yesterday I spent writing a short story, but that one is already more than 2000 words.

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    1. Bjorn, you've pointed out a ginormous inconsistency with my chosen definition of prose. I can't believe I read this over and over and didn't notice the silliness of it--there is no such thing as a story without metrical structure or meter that is common to characters' speech and/or to a writer's style. In both written and spoken language, people use their particular cadences. Those are some of the things that make a story interesting and different and delight to read.

      *sigh*

      I will edit the prompt a bit. It should probably say something like, "Please, no poetry for this prompt." And then allow writers to decide what that means to them. If someone responds with a sonnet, well... we shall blink a lot and giggle at that bridge if we ever get there.

      Thank you, Bjorn. Can't wait to read your contribution. After the mild editing of the prompt *cough*.

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    2. When I took a course in creative writing, the first lesson was spent on poetic devices... and I still remember my teacher's response to the question what's the difference between poetry and prose and he said "the only difference is the Dewey Decimal you chose to place it under.

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    3. You'd think that someone who loves prose-poetry as much as I do would remember those lessons. I was so worried about keeping the prose prompt from becoming another poetry prompt that I forgot what truly matters. Live and learn (some more).

      I shall keep working at it. We'll get it right(ish)... eventually. :-)

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    4. Well I may not be a story writer but I have been an editor, creative writing teacher and literary publisher in my day – as well as being an avid reader of stories. So I would like to point out the difference between metre and rhythm. My favourite story writers all agree that the rhythm of prose is very important. Even when I write my articles I try to take that into account. But metre is a very strict pattern of so many feet to a line and where the emphasis (repeatedly) falls on specific syllables within those feet. It definitely belongs to poetry, not prose. And even prose poetry needs heightened language to distinguish it from prose itself. I am saying that I disagree with Bjorn's teacher – and when I was a librarian, I would have been in trouble if I had got the distinction wrong when classifying poetry and prose. (In fact, the whole library is prose, except the poetry section!)

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    5. Rosemary, some of the things you say in this comment (which I seem to have replied to in my head, since I was certain I had done it already, lol) are the reasons why I included the words "No poetry."

      I believe that we can get away with strategically sticking poetic devices into short stories. And if done well, the story can be delicious. But that would still not make the story a poem. However, if like you point out, a short story follows a metrical structure in its most rigid form, then yes... after a while we can't quite tell what we are reading. That would be great for experimentation, but it would make a prose prompt confusing.

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  4. Happy Sunday poets. Congrats to Magaly and the ne First Sundays fiction prompting

    Much🌻love

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    1. Thank you, Gillena. By the way, it's a prose prompt--both fiction and nonfiction are welcome. Just no form poetry with line breaks and such.

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  5. What if I submit a haibun? Will it be deleted, since it's not fiction? Yeah, probably. See you all next week.

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    1. Creative nonfiction is actually encouraged. I wish this to be a prose prompt. Stories that involve conversation between characters, for instance. Tales that portray believable interaction between characters, or the narrative of a single character in his or her natural speech. I guess there could exist experimental stories in which characters communicate in nothing but haibun. And that would be a fun challenge. But I worry that once we say yes to haibun, then soon the prompt will become about poetry. Does that make any sense?

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    2. Do not worry about my contribution. It has not a single line of poetry in it! :)

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  6. Welcome, Magaly! We are excited to have you as part of the Poets United Team. It will be fun to share STORIES one Sunday a month. Smiles. I look forward to reading all of the submissions, but since today will be a busy day for me I will be making time to savor them later! Happy March to you all!

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    1. Thank you so much, Mary. I, too, look forward to reading and sharing stories one Sunday a month. I'm crossing my fingers (even my toes) in hope that the sentiment will spread, lol!

      Have a fantastic day.

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  7. Yay! I am soooo excited about this! What a wonderful prompt, Magaly, you gave us choices! Kids, hydro is working in the village today, so our power will be out from nine to five. Everyone I don't get to before it goes off, I will visit this evening. I am so looking forward to reading everyone's stories!

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    1. I am so happy you are excited, Sherry. It's a wonderful feeling to share and goodness knows I am psyched. I missed writing and sharing short stories so much.

      You are not alone in the being struck by surprises, but I think yours was much more serious. Mine just kept me on the phone for about 3 hours. All good now. :-)

      I hope the maintenance goes smoothly.

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  8. Oh my heavens, what wonderful stories everyone has told. I am STOKED to be reading them!

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  9. I'm so excited to take part in this. I am a novice story teller, but I want to grow. Thanks Magaly!

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    1. I'm all grins. Answering to comments here before going to delight on the short story yum. I'm sooo giddy it's almost indecent. *hehehe*

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    2. Susie, yay! So good to see you here! One of our first members!

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  10. Thanks for hosting Magaly. I can't think of a better way to spend my Sunday. Unfortunately, I abandoned my original idea os Trust the Dark...but went with narcissist in court. I look forward to reading all the others.

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    1. Hey, the dark is going nowhere. But the narcissist is a current issue--that we hope goes away, screaming if possible--so, I'm extremely curious to read your tale.

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  11. I am stopping by to wish you well in your new story writing endeavour, Magaly. I love the Atwood quote, and believe it to be true with all my heart.

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    1. Kerry, you are the best. Thank you for the good wishes. And I'm right with you, when it comes to the quote--truth, truth, truth that feeds the heart's ink (and living).

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  12. Thank you for your peompt Magaly...

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  13. So excited about this prompt Magaly! I will hopefully have something finished by tomorrow night. 😎🎉

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  14. Sorry I thought it was the Poetry Pantry open link. I posted a poem.

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    1. No need for apologies, Colleen. It's a new prompt, only once a month. I suspect we'll need a bit of time to get used to it.

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  15. I wasn't sure where to begin and once I started I had so much more to say. lol...This is something new for me so thanks for reading.

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    1. Thank you for giving it a go... for taking us into that world... and for bringing us back out with questions...

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  16. Thank you for this new challenge, Magaly. I think writing prose at least once a month will grow ALL my writing.

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    1. I'm so glad you think so. Because I believe it!

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  17. Sorry Magaly...I just realised I got it the wrong way around...I wrote a poem to the prose.

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    1. Thank you so much for telling me, Cressida. I was about to message you to make sure. I will remove the link, so that others won't get confused. Thanks again!

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  18. I couldn't get to your post for today's Pantry of Prose, Truedessa. Could you please check your link? Or is it my laptop's funny way again :(

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    1. I took a quick look last night when I didn't have time to comment it. This morning when I went to the link it was not there.

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    2. I rechecked, too, and didn't find it. So, I've deleted the link.

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  19. Congrats Maga on your first Pantry of Prose! I read a few tales by some of the storytellers here. And yay, poets can write beautiful prose too. :D

    Time is not my friend, at this stage, to participate. But I'm a happy reader.

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    1. Thank you, Khaya. So glad you enjoyed some of the tales. I've been delighting in them too.

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  20. Ugh. I tried writing something but I ended up deciding it isn't going to work. However, I'm so happy you're doing this. I will post in the future and I know my writing will improve. Thank you so much for taking charge of this monthly prompt.

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    1. Sometimes, the muse just doesn't play nice. But I bet she will next time. And it will be fun, fun, fun. And we'll be hear to read them. :-)

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  21. A very interesting change to the format at PU. i think poetry writers can write good prose too. Thanks for steering the ship, Magaly.
    i hope to participate in the future. :)

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    1. Agree... some poets can write fantastic prose. This first prompt has birthed some yummy pieces. Can't wait to see what you bring in. :-)

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  22. Hello Magaly- Better late than never, right? LOL. I chose to go with the first option. Fantastic prompt!

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    1. Not late at all, Linda. And how I love your story. I'm still sighing... thinking of her walk... imagining that summer day. :-)

      Thank you so much for writing and sharing!

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