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Writing Prompt #1: The Reboot

Writing Prompt #1: The Reboot

writing prompt creative writing exercise

New website, new series of prompts! I’ve had some issues with image prompts in the past, and will not be making images for every prompt this time around; some reported finding them distracting, or having issues with contrast. Image prompts will still make the occasional appearance, but will be categorized separately.

Anywho, since I’m rebooting my prompts, I thought that I would use the concept of a “reboot” for my first prompt’s theme! Isn’t that TREMENDOUS? Aren’t you EXCITED?! WOO! YEAH! WRITING PROMPTS! YEAH! WOO!

Right, I’m done now. Here we go!

Writing Prompt: An Unexpected Gift

You’ve discovered that you have the power to reboot the day, one day at a time. The events which occur during that day play out slightly differently each time. Your own involvement is as a spectator, looking out through your own eyes like windows, as “you” function on a level best described as a vaguely detached autopilot. 

Expanding the Exercise: Thoughts & Ideas

I’ll try to make each prompt a little shorter than they used to be, but I do enjoy presenting people with a few additional options. If you would like, try expanding upon the prompt’s concept with one or more of the following additions! Given that this is still, if just barely, Halloween, I’m going to go with a dark and sinister undertone—just for fun, of course.

  • Each time you reboot the same day again, there is an increasing tendency for familiar objects to no longer reappear. After one or two reboots, you might be missing a familiar rock, or a tree. After three or more, random manufactured items stop reappearing. After five or more, animals. Vanished objects sometimes reappear after you resume normal time progression; other times, they don’t. You’ve just repeated the same day eleven times, having never gone so far before; your neighbor is now missing. Nobody else seems to notice.
  • You’ve just experienced a dreadful reboot. Everything that could possibly have gone wrong does, to the point where your sense of detachment shatters and you experience a nervous breakdown. Once you’ve recovered, people are delighted that you seem “back to your usual self,” but—to your horror—you appear to have lost the ability to replay the day. You must live with the consequences of devastating recent events.
  • While engaged in an active reboot, your “autopiloted” self is struck by a car and killed; you are powerless to stop them. Your ability is immediately triggered, and you wake up in a brand-new reboot of the same day—apparently, none the worse for wear. The specter of death haunts you, however: now, whenever you use your power, you find yourself confronting more and more frequent close calls, almost as if the universe were trying to get rid of you.
  • One day, while using your ability, you realize that some of the people around you are looking at you funny. You’d noticed it before, but you’ve become used to being a casual spectator in these reboots. Now that you think about it, they aren’t looking at you like any normal person would. They appear confused, and some look flat-out hostile, but all are hesitant—as if it would somehow be rude of them to acknowledge you directly. After your fourth such encounter in the same rebooted day, you finally figure out what clued you in to their existence: none of these “strangers” are interacting with any of the ordinary people around you.

Feedback

I’d enjoy hearing what you have to say about this prompt! Feel free to get in touch, or to leave a comment in the field below (I love comments almost as much as I enjoy a fine, well-aged, extra-sharp Vermont cheddar).

If you want to share a prompt of your own, let me know!