It is not knowledge, but the act of learning, not possession but the act of getting there, which grants the greatest enjoyment. —Carl Friedrich Gauss

The other day, I wrote a scene that had zero purpose. It was a writing prompt for a class I’m taking (yes, I still take writing classes—there’s always more to learn or practice and I love it), in which we were supposed to write a moment that involved a mundane task. I wrote a fragment of a tense conversation about an almost empty toilet paper roll. When is the right time to replace it? How many squares should be left? Why does this task always fall to the same person?

It was a good reminder of how much we can reveal about ourselves and our relationships even in an everyday moment.

When I talk about plot events with students, I often remind them that conflict doesn’t have to be huge to have an emotional impact. Not all stories require a bomb or a dinosaur—an argument over toilet paper will do. In this moment, I can reveal pieces of backstory that clarify the characters’ motivations and relationship that will move the story forward. 

It’s lovely to take a class or experiment with a prompt because it offers insight into things I know that I may have forgotten. Doing a directed prompt helps me strengthen skills I might otherwise neglect…it keeps me from getting rusty. One of our users’ favorite features of Bookflow is the daily prompt. Photos, scenarios, voice challenges, technical challenges, sounds, lists of objects—every day’s spark is designed to exercise your mind in a different way. If you haven’t played with a writing prompt lately, log in to Bookflow and write a short scene. You never know where it will lead.