Thursday Writing Prompt No. 54

Even crocheted angler fish look pretty hungry. I’d stay away from those mouths if I were you — they’ve already eaten the TV remote.

I have one full week left before my next graduate class begins. I’ve been taking time off since April to catch up on doing nothing. Well, actually I’ve been pretty busy filling in that time with reading, dabbling in a few crafts, and trying to replace spoiled food thanks to a multiple-day power outage. That’s not including a host of other errands I’ve been trying to catch up on. And work has been amazingly frustrating, too.This summer has been awful so far.

What I haven’t been able to get done in life, though, I’ve tried to make up for in doing a few small craft projects that I have actually finished. Hooray! My novel is still not done, though, and that’s irritating me, too. Not because it isn’t done, but because I promised myself to work on it and I haven’t touched it. I’m too frustrated right now to do much and frankly my legs hurt from sitting at a desk and on the sofa for 16 hours a day. Okay, enough griping. I hope your summer (winter, for those of you living down under) is going well.

So, this week’s Thursday Writing Prompt is a visit to the ocean, in honor of my angler fish friends pictured above. They’re from a book, 75 Seashells, Fish, Coral & Colorful Marine Life to Knit & Crochet, and the pattern can be downloaded for free from Lion Brand Yarn.What does this have to do with writing, you ask? Well, nothing. Or maybe something. I don’t know. Sometimes I need to get away from the actual writing process to let a story idea develop. It’s like resting between exercise sets: the rest is when your muscles build themselves up, not during the actual work. I’d like to think the same thing can happen to writers. We need time away from the keyboard or pen to sort out those loose ends and let our imaginations wander.

So, this week you’re going to take a deep-sea dive in search of strange fish and other sea creatures. You have at your disposal a submarine, a crew, and any research equipment that you want. Since this is fiction, of course, there are no money restrictions and none of that fiddle-faddle about international waters and such. But I’m going to impose restrictions on you anyway: you must include real-world equipment in your story. No making up tricorders or sensors that detect alien lifeforms. The focus is going to be on the marine life and not the research equipment, so work with what you would realistically have available.

However, once your sub dives, what you find in those murky waters is up to your imagination. For inspiration, search “deep sea fishes” or “weird fishes” for ideas. Now, go and write about your meeting with one of these beasts. This will be primarily a story about exploration and discovery, but feel free to add romance or mystery or whatever else you want. No word restrictions, but you probably will need at least 2,000 words to do this justice. If you don’t want to put out that much effort, do a “character sketch” of your beast and leave it for another story.

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