Wed. Writing Prompts XXIV

1. Imagine that, through some bizarre twist of fate or science, you were to cross paths with some future or past incarnation of yourself. What would the two of you talk about? Would you recognize each other? How would it effect your life, you decisions? Brainstorm a little, and then write your story.

2. You come home to a message on your phone that makes your heart stop for a moment. What is this message? Who left it? What emotions does it evoke within you? Happiness? Fear? Love? Anger? Something else?

3. Do something creative and fun with myth. Write an article meant for the Olympus newsletter, detail the secret life and/or obsessions of a god or goddess from any tradition. Have fun with it, even if it doesn’t go anywhere, use this as an opportunity to try something new and entertaining.

4. Create and detail a band of drifters. Each of them has a different past, a different history, and their own set of secrets tucked away where no one else can see them. Make each character unique and real– make them interesting, explain the bonds that hold them together. Now, throw them into the middle of a frantic situation where one or more of them come under the imminent threat of death. Write their story.

5. Tell the story of a man or woman who is the ultimate fake-artist. In every element of his or her life, something (if not everything) is faked. It’s a survival strategy, it’s how the character gets by– only now, something has gone horribly wrong. What is it? Is there a solution?

6. Write a story about someone who discovers a “crack” in the framework of reality. What is this crack? Is it physical, metaphorical, conceptual? Is it an abstract concept that slips obliquely in and out of view, or is it more concrete and tangible? How does the character in your story react to this fracture? What happens in response?

7. Think about a cultural stereotype that is invisible to most people (like the unspoken standard of what is a “man’s job” or the way in which “whiteness” stands as the default racial identity in mainstream movies and/or television. Now, blatantly expose this stereotype in a short story, either through dialog or by parodying it by overapplying it in your story. Show the world what it is afraid to see.

8. Family stories – we all have them, we all have relatives who like to talk and spin a yarn to rival any novelist. Reflect on one of these from your own experience, and then recast it as the tale of someone else living in some other place and time. Be creative, change elements as necessary, but don’t lose the overall flavor of the piece.

9. Write a story that revolves around a sexy look, a sensual, silent glance that imparts more excitement and meaning than words ever could. What happens now? What was the trigger for the event? Write your story.

10. Some tribal societies claim that the tales they tell as part of their oral mythologies come from patterns seen in fire or in the stars. Spend some time staring at the patterns in clouds, fire, the grain of wood or the wash of silt after a rainstorm. See what stories come to you– then write them.

Blog Archive