Writing to prompts

I wish to pen down some of my thoughts about prompts. This is only a point of view, and you may differ from them. If so, I would love to read your POV too. And I believe that nothing is final, change is the only constant in the universe.
1. A prompt shouldn’t be taken too literally. Eg if the prompt is ‘love’ it is not at all necessary that the story that results has to be a love story, or a romantic story. One can also create a story where there is ‘absence of love’ in the main character’s life. One can also write where a character hates the idea of love, without being under any kind of pressure to make that character ‘accept’ love in the end because s/he was wrong in hating it in the first place.
2. The prompt need not be blatantly publicised anywhere in the story. Eg if you’re writing on love, it is not absolutely necessary that the word ‘love’ should appear umpteen number of times in your text. (Neither am I trying to provoke you NOT to use the word if you think it is necessary to do so.)
3. I believe that the prompt should be thrown up in the air like a ball, and the writer should follow it wherever it goes. The writer might not know in advance where the ball will eventually fall – let it be a surprise to him. The reader will only be surprised if the writer is surprised at what he discovers.
4. The prompt should be allowed to mingle with your life philosophies, your beliefs and your comprehensive abilities, but a writer shouldn’t let the prompt be a constraint. If the prompt attacks your sensibilities, don’t try to browbeat it into submission. Instead, feel free to let your mind roam into new realms. Yes, you can write a story only if you are ‘inspired’ which is what a prompt should do, but writing to a prompt that goes against your basic nature can be a great liberating experience.

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