Last Friday, author Salman Rushdie was attacked on stage at a speaking event in Chautauqua, New York. And today’s writing prompt is inspired by that attack.

See the full writing prompt in today’s post, as well as my completed version of this prompt, An Interrupted Reading.

books burning
Created by K.E. Creighton in Canva

Today’s Writing Prompt: Author Attack

For today’s writing prompt, write a scene in which a fictional author is attacked for something they wrote. They can be attacked verbally or physically. If possible, try to allude to what it was they wrote that was so upsetting to the person or group who is attacking them. Perhaps include an excerpt from their fictional book in your piece of writing?

Important note: I do not promote or condone violence of any sort. In fact, quite the opposite. I believe that by authoring, reading, writing about, and discussing banned and challenged books and their authors, more people in society will better understand one another and the world in which they live. And with better and more sincere understanding comes more peace.

Since the beginning of the year, book bans continue to increase and many authors and their works are under attack. Now we can even read that phrase “under attack” more literally after Mr. Rushdie was attacked last Friday. So, it’s important to take a moment and consider the power of literature and the books that people are banning, or attempting to ban, in the real world right now. And what better way to do that than by writing fiction ourselves? Literature has the power to influence, mirror, inspire reflection, and act as an archive for society… and so so so much more.

Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt

An Interrupted Reading, by K.E. Creighton

“Thank you, thank you so much. Now I will read a short excerpt from my latest novel…”

Samantha held her new ragdoll above her head as she laid back on her pillow. She stared into its glass-blue eyes now illuminated by the nightlight next to her bed.

Although its eyes were bright right now, it was a precarious brightness that could be extinguished at any moment, through no fault of her own. The doll’s eyes seemed lonely to her, distant. So she decided to give her doll a name. To bring it to life.

“I’ll call you, Sammy. Sammy Junior,” she said with a flat expression as she continued to hold the doll up and examine it.

When she heard the bedroom door creak open, she immediately sheltered the doll underneath her Snow White pillowcase to protect it.

Light poured in from the hallway, further illuminating the room in ugly harsh yellow and dark shadows. The floorboards trembled as he approached her bed. There was nowhere for her to hide from this palpable monster.

If only she was Sammy Junior, with a place to hide and a bigger Samantha to protect her. But no, she was the only true ragdoll in the room at that particular moment. Instantly lifeless.

My reading was interrupted by a group of people who burst into the side instance of the small auditorium shouting, calling me a pervert and damning me to hell. There were only a dozen or so of them, but they all held picket signs and at least five of them were shouting into bullhorns.

When they reached the stage, they toppled over the table next to me with copies of my novel on it, doused the books in gasoline, and set it all ablaze. Next, they came for me…

[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]

Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt

This was extremely difficult to write because of the content matter. And writing about such difficult subjects—child sexual abuse and an author being attacked— is certainly not for the faint of heart, and is gut-wrenching. When writing this, I was confronted with deciding how graphic to get with my writing and what type of impact and overall effect my choices would have on the reader.

If you complete this writing prompt, be sure to share your draft with members of our writing community. We’d love to read it! Be sure to tag #DailyDraftsAndDialogues and @kecreighton on Medium, WordPress, or Facebook, so we can read what you write for this writing prompt. Get creative! Let’s see how many different versions of this prompt can be written.

Author Quote: Salman Rushdie

If you haven’t read one of Salman Rushdie’s books, I would recommend you do so now.

Created by K.E. Creighton in Canva

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