Writing Prompts

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153 articles found

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

Sensational Saturday: Something’s missing

Imagine what it would be like if you lost one of your senses − taste or sight, for example (or if you are psychic, your sixth sense!). Put your character in a mundane setting, such as a coffee shop or an elevator, and write a scene that shows us how this character struggles. When you are …

Published: November 21, 2015

Friday Figures: A character’s best friend

  “You ask of my companions. Hills, sir, and the sundown, and a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell,” wrote poet Emily Dickinson. The way people react to animals can be very revealing. Pets are often flawless reflections …

Published: November 20, 2015

Tune-in Tuesday: Not yet

    “Not yet.” Incorporate this line of dialogue into a story. What prompts a character to say these words? Contextualize what the phrase means. How does he or she arrive at this moment? What is the question that precedes the answer?

Published: November 17, 2015

Motivation Monday: History journal

  Diaries are fascinating documents of inner lives and history. Which famous historical figure, real or fictional, fascinates you? Is it Cleopatra? Bluebeard? Barack Obama? Pretend to be that person and write an entry in his or her journal.

Published: November 16, 2015