Talk about an ingenious marketing technique! In today's highly visual culture, there's just about no better way than a kick-butt trailer like this to amp people up and get them interested. Heck, I'm thinking I might just have to give this series a try! Kudos to Sherrilyn Kenyon and anybody else involved with the project! I am impressed! 100%

Wed. Writing Prompts XXIX

1. Write a story about a person whose very life is defined by drastic change. Do you think this kind of life is something a person could get used to? Is it desirable? What would a life like that be like? What would it entail?

2. Spend some time brainstorming the weirdest situation you can. Play with your ideas, make them weirder, more into the depths of the bizarre. Now, use that situation as the basis for a story.

3. Write a story that meshes genres, like the tale of an old war hero who flew genuine fire-breathing dragons against psychic Roman centurions, or an account of the first elf to set foot on another planet. Be creative, mix things up, add new and random elements (like rainbow-spewing panda bears or plumbers who throw fireballs) to make the story even more unique.

4. Write a story about a person who refuses to have fun. Why would someone avoid fun? What would that person be like? What would they eat? What kind of clothes would they wear?

5. Write a story about a caravan and the people within it. It can be any kind of caravan – a caravan of cars, wagons, horses, spaceships, traders, circus people or anything else. What kind of problems do they face? What are the interpersonal dynamics of the people in the caravan?

6. Write your own piece of zombie horror fiction. Consider the hallmarks of the genre, the stereotypes and expected twists, then decide if you want to follow them or cast them aside and do a fresh take on the living dead.

7. Write a story about a doorway. What is special about it? Does it have some unusual trait, some memory or sentiment attached to it? What is on the other side?

8. Write a story that features a certain group of people in a “normal” environment (like monks in a monastery or truckers in a truck stop) and then replace what might be their “normal” dialog with something way out of left field (like complex theoretical equations). Be creative, play it rough and raw. Make no explanations or apologies.

9. Two people enter a room. One has the ultimate plan, and the other has the means to make it happen. Write a story that includes their conversation.

10. Write down your ultimate hope and your ultimate fear. Now, construct a scenario in which they both come true. Write your story.

Submissions are open!

Just another quick reminder that WEIRDYEAR daily flash fiction is open for submissions of less than 1000 words. Check us out on the web at and become a part of the action!

Wed. Writing Prompts XXVIII

1. Write a story about a person who knows the loopholes and procedures of the law so well that he or she can get away with virtually anything. Are his or her talents just the thing to save the day, or will your story ultimately document this line-walker’s downfall? Be creative, see where it takes you.

2. Write a story that is defined by the rain. Make rain ever-present, a metaphor and emphasis for everything that happens within the context of the story. Fill the reader’s sight and mind with rain. Make them feel it, truly experience it.

3. Make a list of “races” and stereotypes that come to mind when you think about them (however wrong, flawed or politically incorrect they may be.) Now, mix up these stereotypes, then rewrite these mixed list entries as characters. Make them into people who feature what you would consider to be atypical (but potentially more realistic) character traits.

4. Design a terrifying character. Take some time to develop what makes this character truly terrifying. Try new things, write sentences that give you the willies. Now, write a story featuring this character, but make him or her a person so kind and generous as to be practically a saint.

5. Write a story that showcases a pack of shallow, narrowminded socialites and the way in which they suddenly change, becoming deeper, more complex and less (if at all) concerned with pointless and trivial things.

6. Consider the phrase “the great, unwashed masses.” How does it sound? What does it make you think of? Is there a story there? Visualize what the phrase indicates in your mind, who might say it and why, and then use it to write your story.

7. It is said that history is written by the victor, and if anything, revisionist views of history would seem to prove that. Write your own story featuring a problem with revising history, something that crops up while others try to neatly sweep something profound (like a genocide) under the proverbial rug.

8. Write a story from a wholly alien perspective. Whatever you focus on, wherever the plot goes, follow it with an eye as far from human as possible. Expand your writing into a bizarre direction, change it here and there, and create something totally outside the norm.

9. Take a story you’ve already written (but aren’t sure what to do with yet) and deconstruct it by playing around with the derivational morphemes within it (affixes like “un”, “re” and “non”.) Swap some around, create new ones, craft whole new words– and if you feel really adventurous, try playing around with some of the morpheme stems or even rewriting the lingering inflectional morphemes used in the story. Be creative! Don’t be afraid to try new things.

10. Take a story that you’ve already written and then retell it– from a totally different perspective. Instead of focusing on one character and the way they perceive the situation, focus on another, and make their perceptions the focus of your story. If you’re really feeling adventurous, try combining the two stories together to create the ultimate hybrid story!


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Wed. Writing Prompts XXVII

1. Consider a common problem that a lot or most people seem to have (like money troubles, being single, etc.) and then write an abnormal or non-standard solution to it. Don’t worry about social norms– be as irreverent as you like in your approach and your solution!

2. Write a story about a Bunburyist (someone who creates a totally fictional person which they use as an excuse for leaving an engagement or cancelling their attendance at an event suddenly.) Does this Bunburyist get caught eventually? How does this Bunburyist’s farce affect his or her relationship(s) with those around and/or close to them?

3. Write a story that tells about the entirety of your life in less than 100 words. Now, pick the most important parts and try to reduce it to as little as 50 words. Next, (and without using any of the material you’ve cut out) expand upon what’s left to make each individual point or “nugget” of information its own paragraph (or page, if you’re feeling ambitious.) The idea is to forcibly focus on what is most important within a story and truly make that the backbone of your piece.

4. Take a story with a strange, even oblique meaning (like Hemingway’s “hills like white elephants”) and give it to a child to read. Next, ask them what the story is about. Take notes, ask deep questions and follow up on the unusual things that the child says. Finally, take those notes and write your own story, one that an adult might describe in the same way that the child described the first.

5. Many supporters of Chomsky’s “Universal Grammar” idea are in agreement with Carl Sagan’s statement that “the brain has its own language.” Use this idea of an underlying universal brain language in a story. Be creative, brainstorm several ways of approaching this prompt before you settle on one (or more) to pursue. Now, write your story!

6. Write a story where a massive, unseeing public is maneuvered and controlled by some single, seemingly innocuous medium (like advertising.) The plot of the story could be anything from a rebellious uprising of the public to the gloating and scheming of the few on the “inside” as it were. Be creative, see where your ideas take you!

7. If Black Power and Black Pride movements are seen as socially good, then why are White Power and White Pride movements seen as socially bad? Why are Scottish Festivals, Irish Faires, Pan-Asian expositions and Latino Film Festivals not viewed as inherently racist? Consider your thoughts on the matter for a while, then put them into a story. Be creative, say what you mean, and make the story powerful in that it makes a point that people might not otherwise even consider or be exposed to.

8. Write a story that epitomizes what it means to be lost. Spend some time writing down ideas of how you might impart a true sense of being lost that surrounds and encompasses your reader in a way that he or she cannot shake. Focus wholly on the feeling as you write your story– don’t lose it and don’t let go of it. If you do, go back, cut out the extraneous bits, and try again.

9. Write a story where something small and innocuous is ignored and, as a result, becomes a very serious problem. What is this problem? Is the seriousness of it discovered too late to fix the problem, or is it still caught in time? What is the solution? Think about your possible avenues for creating a story like this, plan out a few on paper– it could be anything from a small cancerous bump that overnight turns into Cthulhu to a single bill that turns into a debt nightmare. Be creative, see where that creativity takes you, and write your story!

10. Consider the idea of difficulty. What do you think of difficulty? Do we need some things to be difficult? Is it better to have more or less difficulty? Does difficulty go hand in hand with value? What is the value of difficulty? Think about these questions, then apply them to a previous writing prompt and write a story that addresses the points of both prompts.

A Galaxyrise

Wed. Writing Prompts XXVI

1. If the way that society defines reality creates the binding cultural framework of the world in which we live, then what is to stop people from simply redefining that reality, thereby changing the world for the better? Take some time to really think about this, then write a story that revolves around this idea.

2. Fashion is an interesting facet of culture and an element wholly unique to humans as far as animals on Earth go. Take a moment to consider all the unusual fashion trends of the past (birdcages in beehive hairdos, Schpantz, Skorts, paisley, bloomers, clothing made out of trashbags, etc.) and then design a fashion trend of your own. Now, write a story either about that fashion trend or about the people who embrace it.

3. Combine the names of two historical figures to make a hybrid (Bobdole Picasso, Jeffersonbeard, etc.) What is this “fused” character’s story? Where are they from? What is their claim to fame? What are their idiosyncracies? Write your story.

4. Take a moment to consider some of the films that you’ve seen which have been adapted from stories or books. What do you think goes into such a process? At what point do parts of a story get cut or expanded? Are there corporate board meetings that determine the fate of the story, or are elements simply axed on the whim of the director? Now, create a story about another literary work going through just such a process.

5. Consider the idea of an “Image Broker,” someone whose job it is to create an image around a person, like a corporate executive or a presidential candidate. Write a story about this idea– focus on the tale of a particular broker, his or her work, or even on the person who’s image is being recast by that broker. Be creative, see where your ideas take you.

6. Write a story about a character who regularly has to vacillate between “worlds”. These worlds could be anything– social lines, physical worlds, intellectual worlds, philosophical worlds, etc. Be creative– try a few different ideas before you decide on which one to write about.

7. Construct a nonsense sentence like “colorless green ideas sleep furiously” or “a verb crumpled the milk.” Think about it, consider how it could actually in some way be possible, how you might work the sentence into a story in which it would make sense, and then build up that story around it.

8. Consider for a moment a machine. It could be any kind of machine, but preferably one that holds some memory or emotions for you that link you to it in some unshakable way. Now, write a story about that machine (or one similar) and a person who uses it. Write about the memories and emotions it evokes in them, the way it changes and effects their life.

9. Someone you know is on their deathbed, coughing and hacking, dying of something that came on suddenly and that the doctors believe is just too far beyond their skill to fix. It’s clear that this person doesn’t have long– and yet there is a secret they have to impart to you. What is the secret? How does it effect your life? Does it change you in some way? Write your story.

10. Write a story where the character dialog is replaced and represented entirely by symbols, concepts and abstract ideas. Tell your tale without any quoted dialog– make every exchange between the characters wordless, and yet full of meaning. It’s a lot easier than you think!

Hey, looking for some place to send your weird and/or shorter fiction pieces to? Check out and send them in!

New site for The Cygnus War

The Cygnus War now has its own site! You can view the latest episodes on the Cygnus War feed to the left or check out the new digs at The site is really gorgeous, and definitely worth a look see, if only for the Special Features! :)

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