Writing Prompt: Unexpected Turn

Sometimes a story starts one way and then takes an unexpected turn–sort of like thinking it might be nice to visit Rhode Island and suddenly realizing you’re headed for the Bahamas. So today’s challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to revisit your story about hyperbaric therapy and turn it in a different direction. If it was successful, make it a disaster. Loaded with fear? Make it excitement. Or humor!

ALTERNATIVELY: write about hyperbaric therapy that goes terribly wrong. Of course it could be medical malfeasance or incompetence, but think more broadly: natural disaster, act of God, equipment failure. And what about suicide, assisted or otherwise? Or perhaps murder. Possibly some combination of the above?

To do either of these stories, you must get the details right. For example, a typical pressure is 2.0 pounds per square inch. That is equivalent to being 33 feet under the ocean’s surface. Details like that might mean something to deep-sea-diving readers. Know the benefits and risks of this treatment. Know what would be possible. And remember to bury your research by making it part of plot, dialogue, setting, and action.

And FYI, here’s a picture of a hyperbaric chamber after a treatment.

Writing prompt, hyperbaric therapy, unexpected turn

Writing Prompt: Hyperbaric Therapy

Photo of chamber for the delivery of hyperbaric therapy
Chamber for the delivery of hyperbaric therapy

Research is central to writing. Getting the facts/background right is central to credibility. So here’s a research exercise for all you fans who are also writers. Pictured here is a chamber for the delivery of hyperbaric therapy. It comes equipped with a blood pressure cuff and an oxygen mask. The patient being treated wears four leads to monitor cardiac function. Find out as much as you can about the hyperbaric chamber, the therapy, and the conditions for which it is used. Write a story about someone receiving this therapy. And don’t let your research show!