Writing Prompts

119 articles found

New year, new them

Chances are, you recently made a promise to better your life in the new year. Now it’s time to be secretly judgmental.

Published: January 15, 2016

Twas a rough night 

Your character has tossed and turned, counted forward and backward, assigned a word to each letter of the alphabet. After what feels like an eternity, first light finally arrives. Write a 250-word piece about the strain and stress of restlessness for your character. What caused the distraction? Is it resolved or exacerbated by a sleepless …

Published: January 8, 2016

Motivation Monday: The old object

      Choose an old object from your home. If you don’t have one, find a picture of an antique online. Imagine that when you touch the object, you are transported to its original time and place. Where are you? What happens? How do you interact with the object? What emotions does the object …

Published: November 30, 2015

Structure Sunday: Write dangerously

“The modern writer must be an adventurer above all, willing to take every risk, and be prepared to founder in his effort if need be. In other words we must write dangerously.” –James Joyce A legend of Irish literature, Joyce used his fearless approach to pen groundbreaking novels such as Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. Take …

Published: November 29, 2015

Sensational Saturday: Bottled up

    What makes your character impatient or angry? How does he or she deal with anger? Does your character keep it bottled up to explode later over something insignificant? Let it all out at the moment and move on? Count to 10? React with fists or words? What does it take to get a …

Published: November 28, 2015

Friday Figures: Six words

  Take the famous Ernest Hemingway six-word story: “For sale: Baby shoes, never worn.” Write a six-word story for each of your main characters. How do your characters’ stories change throughout the novel?

Published: November 27, 2015

Warm-up Wednesday: Two minutes

      Do each writing prompt in two minutes. You can do them again later, giving yourself more time, but try the short versions first. Set a timer that forces you to move from one to the next. • Write about breakfast. • Depict your best friend as a 2-year-old. • Write about a …

Published: November 25, 2015

Tune-in Tuesday: Based on a secret

      Write about a secret wish that one of your characters has never told anyone. Then, write a scene, completely in dialogue, in which he or she tells someone about it.

Published: November 24, 2015

Motivation Monday: What’s your sign?

    Read today’s horoscopes – all of them – and consider them 12 potential stories. Pick the one that inspires you most and write a short story. Include the horoscope in the story if it seems like a good fit.

Published: November 23, 2015

Structure Sunday: Anaphora

When Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous March on Washington speech, he shared a vision of equality through anaphora, the technique of repeating phrases – in his case, the phrase “I have a dream” at the beginning of his sentences. Using King’s speech as inspiration, incorporate anaphora in your next story, poem or essay. …

Published: November 22, 2015