Prompt 11/15/2011: Scene of the Crime


You are detectives. You’re called to a crime scene at an NYU dorm. A student has been murdered.

Who would you need to talk to?

What would you need to look for?

How would you synthesize that information?

Pick one: 1,2,3,4

Write the movie that surrounds the image before you. 15 minutes.


“How did it go? Was there enough material to write from?”

Watch Video of Opening Scene from Blue Velvet.=

Call up four volunteers, one from each group. (If enough hands, second group can be called).

“What do we think of the extrapolated stories, once combined? Do they intersect at all? Do they inform each other despite their being presented separately? Do they still make sense in the context of the movie?”


Q: How do we interact with our worlds?

A: Through our senses.

But, everyone senses things a bit differently from everyone else.

Given the same set of criteria, different people will extrapolate vastly different stories based on their perspectives. What we are trying to do is draw attention to people’s creations inspired by the same “scene,” be it a crime scene or a movie scene.

This is a process we do with everything we encounter. We reinterpret what we see before us and make it a part of our own narratives.

The goal of this prompt was to illuminate that process and offer that, if we are struggling to write, perhaps the solution is to “read” more of what is around us.

We can always reevaluate the simple things that we know and recombine them into a massive cyborg beast (AKA a beautiful headless story).


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