PROMPT: The Triggering Town

This week’s exercise is adapted from Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town.

First, imagine a fictitious town. Visualize it and jot down notes about what you can see, hear, smell, etc.

Now, show this town to someone you trust (Hugo suggests a friend or lover). Use this to begin a piece of writing. Hugo points out, in his example, that he uses the word that over the (that silo instead of the silo), as you are on the scene and pointing.

Hugo discusses the challenges of using real-world places. If we set a poem or piece of fiction in our actual hometown, for example, we might not be able to let go of the factual details. He writes, “Your hometown often provides so many knowns… that the imagination cannot free itself to seek the unknowns.” What unknowns did you discover in this exercise?