Beauty of Decay Writing Prompts: Blogging A-Z April 2013

What is beautiful about decay, you ask? I worked with dinosaur bones as a college student and participated in a mentored research project involving taphonomy. Taphonomy is the study of what happens to an organism from the moment it dies until a scientist retrieves the remains. I can’t think of many things more beautiful to me than fossilized bone fragments, so naturally I would say that death, decay, and decomposition hold a certain sense of beauty for me.

Beginning as part of the April 2013 A-to-Z Challenge, Beauty of Decay is Slither’s new writing prompt collection featuring 26 visceral writing prompts and exercises created by yours truly to inspire the creepy story writer in you. As one of Slither’s main themes is exploring the bright side of human nature from the dark side of writing, so Beauty of Decay Writing Prompts will be themed with both enlightening and creepy content in mind. Each Beauty of Decay post will begin with a brief fact or experience blurb, followed by a prompt or exercise that draws from that blurb.

Decay’s prompts will be categorized thusly:

Monsters (M): from interesting animal facts to prompts about the mythical, mysterious, and paranormal.
Natural Disasters (ND): natural disasters and acts of nature.
Genetic Anomalies (GA): anything that has to do with genetic inheritance, mutation, genetic disease, evolution, speciation, etc.
Forensics/Taphonomy (F/T): rot, decay, forensics, and taphonomy.
Mind and Body (M/B): transformations, morphology, physical and psychological stuff.
Paranormal (P): prompts with paranormal elements.
Apocalypse (A): any prompts specifically on apocalyptic, post-apocalyptic, or dystopian scenarios.
Other (O): anything that doesn’t fit into the above six categories.


Beauty of Decay Writing Prompts:

1. Neglected Apple Tree (F/T)

2. Bone Eating Insects (F/T)

3. Evil Calculus (P), (O)

4. To Slay A Dragonfly (M)

5. Extremophiles (M) and Extreme Temperatures (ND)

6. Interpreting Ancient Footprints (M/B)

7. Gastrointestinal Distress (M/B)

8. Spiders And Hydraulic Locomotion (M)

9. Magic Ink (P)

10. Junk Food Apocalypse (A)

11. Koi Catastrophe (GA)

12. Struck By Lightning (ND)

13. Mitochondrial DNA (GA)

14. Stephanie The Cat (P)

15. Skinning Orcs (M)

16. Sentient Parasites (M)

17. Quick Sand Rescues Gone Awry (ND)

18. Rust and Tetanus (ND)

19. Your Secret Horror (O)

20. Twinkie Relics (A)

21. Ultraviolet Radiation (ND)

22. Active Volcano (ND)

23. Lovely Warts (M/B)

24. Brainstorming Xenobiology (GA)

25. Red and Yellow, You’re a Dead Fellow (M)

26. Puzzling Zygomatic Arches (F/T), (M/B), (A)