Posted by E.S. Wynn on Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Return of Wednesday Writing Prompts (Now in 3D!)(But not really!)
1. Look through the newspaper for a particularly interesting line like “It was a day like any other for Joe Everyman...” Think about it, bend it around in your mind and explore the possible places a line like this could go... then write one of them.
2. Write down the basic elements of a whodunnit– the name of a guilty person (i.e. Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, etc.) the object they’ve committed the murder with (i.e. a candlestick, etc.) and the place where it was done. (i.e. in the conservatory.) Make each element as random as possible (i.e. Bob Dole with an overfed goat in the soyuz module) and then write a story that ties it all together. Feel free to make it more fun than believable.
3.Interesting things happen when different cultures come into contact for the first time. Envision two distinctly different cultures, then write a story where they meet!
4. Type two random and seemingly unrelated words into a google image search (like uncle fuzz) and look through the images that come up. Find one that strikes you, then write a story around it.
5. Politicians are masters at spinning ambiguous sentences. Look through the speeches of one or two that have had something to hide or get excited about lately and pick apart their words. Find a particularly vague sentence, or one teeming with doublespeak, and use it as the backbone of a story.
6. Take a famous line from a famous piece of literature and run it through several different languages on a translator online (like Altavista’s Babelfish) with Korean or Chinese as the last one, then translate it back to English. Look at it, consider the new meanings hidden within it, and then build a story around it.
7. Walk through an unfamiliar aisle of the grocery store or visit an ethnic grocery (Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc.) and look for a product (or several products) that strike your fancy. Use that image as the key motivator or focus for a story. Maybe people are passing it back and forth while they talk. Experiment, try new things!
8. Write a story where a character is faced with a decision that is very difficult for him or her to make. This is no ordinary decision– it’s hard to make, and it needs to be made soon. The stakes should be high (or maybe just seem high to the character) and you can even go so far as action as you want. Whatever happens, focus on the tension of the decision.
9.People act differently on camera. Write a story from the perspective of someone watching a film where another person reveals a shocking or frightening secret. Try to capture the mood of being afraid or angry or reluctant to put the secret into words, make the character in the video real, believable.
10.Relationships are full of games, especially when we’re young or the connections we’ve forged are superficial. Write a story where relationship games are being played between the two people who make up an otherwise loving couple. Put in action, make it real, scream and smash some things. Make it exciting, and let the ending determine on its own where it will go.
More awesome links to inspire you:
Why Cops Fear Cameras: http://carlosmiller.com/2009/03/25/why-police-officers-fear-cameras/
Asian Guy Sends A Response To Rosie O'Donnell: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/449369/asian_guy_sends_a_response_to_rosie_odonnell/
Boeing Business Jets: http://www.boeing.com/commercial/bbj/index.html
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