Wednesday Writing Prompts XI

1. Design a “Show.” It could be any kind of show– an airshow, a car show, a boat show, a gun show, or even some kind of cultural expo (like the Scottish Games). Detail the event, fill it with the homages and references that people steeped in that kind of environment would know or recognize. Make it real. Now– make it the setting of a story.

2. Within the context of a story, expound upon the beauty and artifice of the human body. You can look at it with the eye of an architect, as Leonardo da Vinci or Doctor Gray did, you can praise it as the miraculous product of evolution, god’s mastery of creation or anything else, or you can appreciate it for its exterior beauty, its lines and curves, as any painter or photographer might.

3. Look for a mystery in your life and write a pseudo-myth to explain it. The mystery itself could be anything from the sudden closure of a stable business to the disappearance of a person, place or thing, or even a the reason for a haunting in any given place. Create a storyline that explains why whatever happened, happened!

4. Engineer a quick, effective and drastic means to solve some massive socio-economic or political problem in your town, state, country, world, etc. Somewhere in that plan, there is a story. Consider who gets hurt, who wins, who falls through the cracks, how the plan is implemented, what its repercussions are, and where things could suddenly go terribly wrong. Now, create your character and tell his or her story.

5. Write a story where someone’s need to master, control and own some force, element, person, object, etc. ultimately becomes an obsession that leads to his or her downfall. Instill the story with the drive and desire of this person, the power inherent in the very lengths they will go to in order to have that which they know in their heart they will one day possess.

6. Write a story where some fiction in a character’s life begins to blur with his or her reality. The fiction could be anything, could stem from any source, and could find any way you find most intriguing to insinuate itself into the character’s existence in such a way that it is able to compete with reality so easily and completely. Which wins out in the end? or– for that matter, which one is the real fiction? which is really reality? Are they both real? Are they both fiction? Is there a third, unseen world that is the true reality, or is something else going on altogether?

7. Create a story about a board game of your own invention in the style of Jumanji or Zathura. What kind of game is it? (Fantasy, horror, something else altogether...) How is it played? How does it change the world around it, and what are the stakes?

8. Craft a piece of poetry that really stirs and moves the heart in a profound and powerful way. The only guideline: Do it in the fewest words that you can.

9. Pick something that sits as (or claims to sit as) the paramount or pinnacle of some idea, virtue or anything else intangible (i.e. good, evil, skill, education, prowess, strength, dedication, etc.) and cast it into an opposing light that highlights all the flaws, problems, issues etc. that in reality detract from the sense of perfection this entity boasts. Now, use those highlighted items and this newly cast entity to drive forward a story, article, or piece of poetry.

10. Set a timer, alarm clock, or similar timing device for some random and arbitrary period of time. Now, go do something else. Forget about the timer. When it goes off, consider in depth how you feel (Besides irritated at the timer for going off in the middle of whatever you were doing.) What happened in between to change your mood? Use this series of events as the main framework for your story.

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