William Shakespeare and Vladimir Nabokov, author of Lolita, share birthdays (April 23) as well as subject matter: controversial love stories. Get inspired by these literary greats and create a love story that subverts social norms. Pair two people of different backgrounds or ideals and explore what develops between them. How do their differences complement one …
To celebrate National Humor Month, repurpose a classic joke as a short story or piece of flash fiction. What narrative can you tell about a chicken that crosses the road? What really happens when a rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar?
A family moves into an old house with a checkered history. What do they discover there? How do the stories of past residents reflect the family’s own conflicts? What situations are the same in the past? What has changed?
A baker discovers a secret ingredient for cupcakes, but the recipe has unexpected consequences. What is in the cupcakes? How does the recipe affect the baker’s customers? How does the discovery change the baker’s future? Use secondary characters to create conflict in the kitchen.
“I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.” –Tennessee Williams
Three individuals in three separate locations see a breaking news item flash across a TV screen. How does each person respond? How does the event affect (or not affect) each viewer? How does this incident unite them in the future?
Two strangers sit beside each other on a park bench, both hiding secrets they’ve never told anyone before. In the course of their interaction, how do these secrets come out? How are their stories related? How does this encounter change their futures?
A woman is driving her car when she sees something unexpected in the middle of the road. She pulls over to get a closer look. What is in the road? What happens when she gets out of the car? How does the object in the road reflect something significant in her life?
A burglar breaks into a home and steals three unusual objects which appear to be worthless. What are the objects? Why does he or she steal them? What happens next to the burglar and the homeowner?
Three strangers are sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for their appointments. A patient’s bag tips over on the floor and something falls out. What is it? What do the characters say to each other that makes this a significant moment in their lives?