Wednesday Writing Prompts XXII

1. Spend some time leafing through “women’s” magazines and see if you can find one that has no articles on weight loss. Now, consider your findings– what do they say about our society and how it views women? Put some thoughts on paper, then write a story that incorporates these thoughts.

2. Have fun playing around with revision drafts. Write several different versions of the same event (something from your life) and edit egregiously. Focus on nothing else– make revision and editing the primary tools through which you tell your story.

3. Write a bunch of interesting words on a piece of paper (i.e. Star, Field, Ancient, Azure, etc) and then cut them out in the form of little slips. Now, put the slips in a hat or a fishbowl (or other similar container) mix them up, and then draw three at random. Put the words together however you like, and then use that as your subject or main character. Write your story.

4. Design a car you’d like to see on the road and/or own yourself. What does it look like? What kind of features does it have? What makes it special and/or different? Be creative. Now, write a story that in some way incorporates this car, even if only as part of the background.

5. Try experimenting with atypical ways of showing character actions (like “he dug around in the pool” or “She swam through the readings”) try a number of them, play with them, and challenge yourself to create new ones. Now, pick at least one to build a story around.

6. Spend some time writing with a child. Ask them about their writing, help them construct a series of drafts, then have them do the same with you. Simplify, try to understand writing and storytelling through the eyes of a child again, and take the time to see where the process takes the two of you.

7. Have you ever been stereotyped? Did someone ever assume something about you based on your physical traits? (Like assuming that being black makes you athletic, being Jewish makes you thrifty, or being a man with long hair makes you a druggie?) Jot down some notes, then use these notes to start your story.

8. Go to work with someone and act as an observer. Watch how they move within that job environment. Take note of their style of interaction, how they solve and/or deal with the unique, daily problems of their profession. Now, write a story with what you’ve collected.

9. Write a sequel that has no precursor. Sit down with a basic idea of the course of events for a story (you can even use a previous writing prompt to help you come up with a quick sketch of probable events,) and then use it is a spring board for “the next installment.” What happens in this sequel? Does evil return? Does the hero retire? Does something else happen altogether? Be creative, and think about possible routes a sequel could take from the original springboard before deciding on any one in particular.

10. Write a story about a transgendered hero. While this task may be easy or difficult for you, take it seriously and try to remove any of the humor, fun poking, and/or loaded statements you might be tempted to make during the course of the story. Remember: your hero is human, (s)he has all the same dreams and aspirations as any other human being, and is only as different from you or me as someone of the opposite sex or a different race may be. Remember to be creative, think about possible courses your story could take before you write it, and remember to be even handed and fair in your writing.

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