Non-Fiction Prompt #8
This prompt is adapted from an exercise in Brian Kitelely’s 3 AM Epiphany. The original prompt, titled “Déjà Vu,” asks the writer to write a scene where an experience triggers a character’s memory of a previous event. Kiteley’s exercise suggests “[juxtaposing] the two scenes, the present one and the past one, on top of each other, writing, for instance, two or three sentences of the present moment, then alternating back and forth between present and past that way.”
For our version, you’ll write about a recent experience, and then relate it to an incident in your past. For example, you might begin by describing an argument in a present relationship, then transition into a flashback to show an argument in a past relationship. Has the narrator’s way of reacting changed? Has the narrator’s choice of partners changed? Has it stayed the same?
You could write about going to see a film at a nearby theatre, then tell the reader a story about the theatre where, 30 years ago, as a high school student, you worked part-time, sneaking your friends free popcorn and avoiding the advances of your creepy co-worker. Has the theatre changed since then? Is movie-going in any way a different experience now? Do you know where the co-worker ended up?
Details on EVENT’s 2016 annual Non-Fiction Contest.