Inspiration: “Forget the Rain”

My story “Forget the Rain” appeared this month at Kasma SF.  I wrote it shortly after joining the Codex writing group early in 2011.  Codex is a large community of predominantly new writers who share information about the publishing business and encourage its members to write.  Shortly after joining, they held a writing “contest” in which a series of prompts were given and anyone who wanted to take part could write a story and submit it for comment.  I wrote “Forget the Rain” based one of the provided prompts, in this case a visual prompt:


It’s a neat picture of a real mechanical elephant with a howdah on top and chambers in the side, and it really appealed to my sense of the bizarre and exotic.  For my story,  I decided to make it a real elephant, and then brainstormed from there:  What are the chambers for?—Who would live with such creatures?—Where would they live?—How would they live?  Eventually a story of genocide and war and one man’s desperate effort to saved his tribe and his family emerged, and I wrote a decent first draft of “Forget the Rain” in a single weekend.

If you haven’t yet, head over to Kasma SF and read “Forget the Rain.”  While there, be sure to check out the other fine stories published by some of the best names in speculative fiction.

About D. Thomas Minton

Writer of speculative fiction
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2 Responses to Inspiration: “Forget the Rain”

  1. mobewan says:

    It’s a picture worthy of the story.

    Slightly ashamed to say I snubbed a lot of writing prompts when I set out. At the time I didn’t think there was a way for me to formulate a story from them. More recently though I’ve started getting both a lot of enjoyment and some interesting story ideas from them, particularly pictures. I think the more I’ve written the more I’ve realised fully formed ideas don’t pop straight into my head. They require coaxing and teasing. Picture prompts that you connect with, now seem to be a good way to jump start the process and I like the way you describe the brainstorming process you went through.

    Codex sounds worth a look too. Thanks for the post, interesting as always.

    • This is interesting because for a long time I never thought I could write from prompts for a similar reason. In hindsight, I just never tried. Once I did, I found them effective, and probably half of my stories now come from prompts. I particularly like to use themed anthologies as prompts, even if I never submit intend to submit them. Some of my best stories (and subsequent sales) have come from themed-antho prompts.

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