Writing Prompts XII

1. Write a story which is a collection of homages. Make the homages as thick as possible, and try to use mostly the bits that mean the most to you personally. Mix these bits together, make them meld and mesh in a way that is still fluid, combining in such a way that, even though they are mingling, each individual piece, each individual component can still be spotted and recognized by the discerning eye.

2. Write a story where the characters are all Gods or Goddesses. It can either be canon mythological (Orpheus’ trip into the underworld) told in a new way that either makes it more flashy or completely recasts it into the modern era (or a more futuristic time). Or, you can go all Stargate with it and make the Gods into something else entirely, the tales of their exploits little more than garbled fables that reflect only a glint of truth. Creativity is encouraged– you don’t even have to stick to these options!

3. Write a rejection letter. The recipient could be an existing (or fictional) author whose work you (as the editor) have received. But this is no ordinary rejection letter– Be creative. What was the story that was rejected and why? Did it come too close to the truth? Did the author make mistakes that were bizarre and ultimately funny (like taking out his aggressions on a particular character in a gratuitous fashion that makes the reader pull back and go “woah... uh...”) You don’t have to go as far as the author’s response or communication between editor and author through successive revisions, though it has been done before (with hilarious results!)

4. Create a story where one person who doesn’t think they could possibly make a difference in the grander scheme of things manages to change the face of the world altogether. Make the change drastic, but the actions taken don’t necessarily have to be so. Maybe this person instigates a chain of events that play out like a massive game of dominos, effecting the lives of millions of people who all move in response as a single entity to effect this massive change.

5. Create a pulp detective story. Think Dick Tracy– the kind of cop stories that are full of action and echo with the lamplit loneliness of a man who stalks and foils crime for a living. Pull out your broad brim hat and get creative. Create an arch nemesis, a master of crime with a name like “The face” or “Stitches Tyrone" and bring him down to make the city a safer place for everyone.

6. Design something fast. It could be a boat, an airplane, a motorcycle, a car, a jet, a rocket-powered racer, or anything else. Pick something that really appeals to you and go with it. Now, dream up the character who had the resolve, the dream and the tenacity to design this sleek machine. What is he or she like? What’s their story?

7. Tell the story of a character who wakes up one morning to find that they have some bizarre and/or interesting new “super power.” What is that power? The ability to spontaneously turn purple? The ability to control the gliding angle of flying fish? Super strength in one pinky? Now, continue the story with the tale of how this new “hero” saves the day using his or her newfound power. What kind of superhero name does he or she get out of it? The Pinky? The Purple Avenger?

8. Write a story about a character who finds a book in an unusual place. What book is it? Why is it there? Is your story about what’s inside the book itself, what it means to the person who left it there and the meeting of these two different people, or something else altogether? There are about a thousand ways you can go with this, and they all start with one person finding a strange book in a strange place.

9. Think about someone who really irritates you and let them have it in a story– Dante’s Inferno style. You can change names to protect the innocent, but leave enough there to make the person recognizable, if only to you. Let your frustrations out, tell them how you really feel and smash their face the way only a writer can. Show them that the pen really is mightier than the sword.

10. Billy Mays just recently died. Write something that either includes him, one of his products, or an homage to him. You don’t have to go as far as professing your undying love for him, but no one will fault you if you do.

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