So here’s improv writing:

  1. No critiquing (especially in read-aloud situations).
  2. No censoring anything on paper. If necessary, say “bleep” when reading out loud.
  3. The prompts are just prompts, not binding.

First prompt: The door wouldn’t open.

The door wouldn’t open. The window wouldn’t close. The cat wouldn’t scratch. The snatch had been stolen. And we were all sitting around the table at Marbury’s place waiting for the missus to come home. Boy, were we in trouble, Sammie and me.

But Fred wasn’t in trouble. He was dead, poor sod. He got killt out in the getaway car, even before we knowed it had started to go wrong. The cops din’t find us, the bank manager din’t find us, the investors were insured and didn’t give a shit, shit, shit.

I wanted to hear the alarm bells ringing, but it was quiet, because people more afraid of gettin shot than they are of gettin robbed, people so crazy nowdays. But Freddie was the one who got shot, and a stranger wore his hat [and took the money and run off].

And the door we locked won’t come unlocked, and without the money, the missus gonna kill us. And the window is so high.

Second prompt: My first thought was that he lied in every word. (The one I read aloud. It hit me about halfway through the POV was the mom from my current project.)

My first thought was that he lied in every word. But I was fond of him, regardless, that son of mine. What mother wouldn’t die for her son? Well, most of them, I think, if they had a son like mine. But he reminded me of Henry. The heartbreak of Henry, the “mad passion” you only find in romance novels. And I was fond of Henry, even then. Even as I felt my face falling and my heart turning to ashes, I was fond.

“Glenn,” I said. “Of course I will follow you to the fairy woods. But your brother is gone. No matter what I do–if I let you bleed me–“

He interrupted me. “Mother! Don’t talk like that. We don’t need to find David that badly. I just–I want to go. I want you to see what’s happened.”

I felt old then. No, ashamed. Glenn was no Henry. Never would be. He’d never ask me to lay down my life. And not for some selfish, ill-considered purpose.

I cried.

But not until he had gone, and I was drunk.

A good experience, even if my envy is aflame…

Of course, Stephen’s King’s use of the “My first thought” prompt is waaaaay better than everyone else’s, so I can feel a little better about it.