Thursday Writing Prompt No. 10

Tomorrow I’m heading to New York City with my husband to attend the Maker Faire. My husband has been to New York as a young child and seen the Unisphere. I’ve never actually been to New York, although he and I managed to drive through it once on our way back to Maryland from New England. All I can remember is that there were yellow taxis everywhere.

Not being the most urban of people, New York hasn’t been on our list of top-ten places to visit. No offense to the city or its residents — we’re just not big on the city scene. But I find myself looking forward to the visit. We’re taking the Amtrak train to Penn Station and will make our way around the city by taxi, subway, and foot. Maybe even a bus. I hope to have some inspiring photos to post when I get back, because we’re absolutely going to see that Unisphere, among other things.

In honor of this mini-vacation, the Thursday Writing Prompt this week will put you or your character on a train to New York City. Your goal is to write a piece of flash fiction that’s set in the city. For our purposes, your story will be limited to 1,500 words. Whether you have been to New York City or not, you must include descriptions in your story of the train station and anywhere else your character goes. Do your research and make sure that you at least get place names correct. You can set your story in present-day New York or write a historical piece, but you must be as accurate as you can with your descriptions.

This is something that every writer must deal with sooner or later: how to write about something that you’re not familiar with. Or if you are familiar with it, you need to be able to describe the kinds of everyday things that will be the setting for your story. Readers in the know will pick you apart if you aren’t on target with your descriptions, but don’t let that deter you from writing a story. Just be sure to spend some time fact-checking or ask someone who has experience to read your work.