This week’s writing prompt comes from The Loft Literary Center. Founded in 1974, the Loft Literary Center is one of the nation’s leading literary arts centers. The Loft advances the artistic development of writers, fosters a thriving literary community, and inspires a passion for literature.
Prompt by Chuck Palahniuk:
The composer Cole Porter was famous for taking everyday phrases and building songs around them. Catchy hooks like “You’re the Top” and “Anything Goes” were already popular; all he had to do was use them as lyrics. Doing that demonstrates the principle I have in mind: Using cultural precedent as a bridge to something new. Stated simply, use what people already know to introduce them to what they don’t yet know.
As a writing assignment, consider the old warning, “Always wear clean underwear just in case you’re in an accident.” Now depict an accident in which the victim has foregone nice underwear. Invent whatever you need to make the ridiculous plausible. Make your consequences so credible that a reader will never leave the house wearing day-old shorts. Make Kafka love you.
Chuck Palahniuk is the author of fifteen novels including Fight Club, Damned, and Choke.