Wednesday Writing Prompts XXI

1. History is full of great men and women, explorers and pioneers who did things and went places that others had only dreamed of. Think about one of these driven, amazing figures from history (My personal favorites are Amelia Earhart, Nikolai Tesla, and Magellan) or more than one if you feel up to it, and then try to capture a sense of what made them great in a story. (Maybe– the first woman to fly an aether-powered blimp, etc.) Be creative and see where the writing takes you!

2. Begin a story with the line “I’ll never forget that horrible night.” Think about it, think about where that line could go, and write whatever comes to you.

3. Make up an excuse. It could be for anything– why you were late, why your dog left a hefty hunk of stink on the neighbor’s carpet, etc. Feel free to make it detailed and as improbable as you like (or not) but remember– you’re arguing your case. Why isn’t whatever happened your fault? Now, write a story that includes this excuse.

4. A man hands a package to a woman at a funeral. What is in the package? Does he say anything to her? How does she react? Does she already know what’s in the package, or will she find out later when she opens it? Spend some time trying different scenarios until you come up with one that excites you and makes you want to write right away. Now, write the story of the package.

5. Start a stream of consciousness freewrite after you write the words “If he wasn’t so dense, he might have understood.” See where that line takes you, see where your mind goes with it. After a while, look back over everything that you’ve written and extract the story (or at least the foundation of it) from the freewrite.

6. Take a moment to consider your face, your features and your general physical characteristics. If someone were to spot you in a crowd, is there one or two things about you that would make you stand out? Now– imagine you’re being pursued by a force of people bent on capturing you. (It could be the police, a secret organization, fans, creditors, etc. feel free to have fun with it.) How would you disguise those features and evade capture? Write your story.

7. Think for a moment about a favorite poem, one that you remember and that stands out in your mind in some way or another. Now, write down the last line, then compose a poem of your own that uses that line as its first line. It could be an answer to the other poem, a continuation, a piece that captures a certain image from that line and its poem and incorporates it into its own ambiance, or anything else. Try different things, see what works, and write as much as you feel.

8. Have you ever thought “Well, at least I’m not a...” (Fill in the blank as appropriate)? Imagine for a moment that you suddenly were, that you suddenly became that thing. What would you do? How would life change? What would be different, and how would you fix it? Would you fix it? What would be the ultimate outcome? Spend some time thinking about it, then write your story.

9. Some spiritualists and UFO hunters claim that we may be approaching a point where contact with an intelligent alien species is right around the corner. Take a moment to consider the repercussions of a sudden and irrefutable announcement that someone else is out there. These creatures don’t have to be hostile– they may just be curious, or maybe they’re here to help us. How would you react? How would the government react? How would various religious, social and political groups react? (Goths, Republicans, born again Christians, dictators and rebels in third world countries, etc.) Create a story that focuses either on one person/group’s reaction, or that encompasses a certain number of them into its storyline. What is the ultimate outcome?

10. Write about some massive, far reaching, global event (doesn’t have to happen in our time/on our world/dimension, etc.) as told through the eyes of a survivor looking back on the event. Start with where he/she was when “it” happened, and focus on the emotions, the trauma, the relief, the happiness– whatever the character feels.

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