Sunday, July 30, 2006

Heated Words

Write a short scene consisting of verbal conflict between two characters. It can be two adults, a child and an adult or two children. Here's the catch. Don't TELL how they feel. Show it.

Saturday, July 29, 2006


Mundane chores can be boring--until you change the POV. Write a scene depicting a chore from the POV of an object involved. For example: A dirty garment as laundry is being done (or the washer or dryer)


Cleaning the bathroom
Cleaning up after a pet
Washing the car

Friday, July 28, 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Use of Light

The use of light within writing can offer information. Used correctly, it can show time, a presence, a warning....

Use light to describe: (for example if sunlight comes from the east we know it's morning, dew glistening on the branches will further confirm time of day without telling the reader it is morning).

A line of trees
A mountain range
A bed

Now, rewrite the same scene with light coming from a different direction. It doesn't have to be the same source, but it does need to be light.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Dreaded Birthday

Every person's different. I knew someone that dried up about age 30 thinking he was old and others who love life at 60. Develop a short scene around an approaching birthday. Make it one of the biggies marking a decade. Write it from one person's POV but involve two characters. One that wants to make the birthday special and one that would rather pretend it isn't happening.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What Do You Get When You Take the Family Hiking?

Characters: Grandpa, Grandma, Couple in mid to late thirties, and two children (you pick the age). Have this family make a plan to get away from TV, video games, loud music, etc. and get back to nature. Take them anywhere in the world. They can plan to pack a tent and rough it, or they can plan to start by hiking a mile on a local trail. Have fun with it.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Smell of...

Incorporate one or more of the following smells into short story.

fresh cut hay
wet dog
dirty socks
raw sewage
rotting garbage
Thanksgiving Day

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dirt Road

When you read the title to today's prompt what picture flashed into your mind? I'm working on a story for an anthology and want to paint an image of a country road winding under a canopy of trees. If that same scenario was presented in a desert scene it would be entirely different, but both would be dirt roads.

Write a description of a dirt road and use it in a scene.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


He sat there impatiently.

This is a passive, telling sentence. Rework it to show impatience and bit of the surroundings.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Body Sounds

Our physical being processes food, aborbs stress, needs rest and most of the time we don't give a second thought to the fact we breath in and out and that our heart beats without being mentally conscious of it.

As the body goes through the day it makes noises that most of the time we ignore or don't even here. It's not until we sit in a quiet place that we notice our stomach rumble with hunger, or feel our hiccoughs might be disturbing the person beside us.

Write a scene that takes place in a quiet setting. Include a body sound or two.

Idea starters:

  • a church
  • courtroom
  • blind date
  • middle of the night in bed
  • Sunday, July 16, 2006

    Berry Picking

    Put a country boy and a city girl in a blueberry patch together. What do they learn from each other?

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Change of Plans

    Have you ever planned a picnic, hiking trip or some other outdoor activity only to have thunder in the distance warn that you might have to change our plans? Place your characters in such a situation and show their creative side as they work through the unexpected. Include conflict, tension and resolution.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Mmmmm Popcorn

    Certain scents stimulate our appetites. On the other hand, some activities stimulate our appetites. For example, going to a ballpark. If you walked into a ballpark today what would you expect to eat and drink? What about a movie theater? How about your favorite restaurant?

    Choose one of the following scenarios and develop a short scene describing what you want and what you do.

  • ballpark
  • theater
  • favorite restaurant
  • Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Flexibility of a Child

    Children bend, jump, stoop and run with natural ease. As adults, our brains tell us we can still do all those things, but reality dictates we change our ways. Write a story about an adult who slips into thinking they can still move with the agility of youth, but soon learn things don't work quite like they used to. Add the element of pride, and make it funny.

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    Snakes, Bugs and Things that Go Bump in the Night

    Describe the experience of fear. Setting is your choice. The object feared is your choice. Make the exerience real. Include the sense of smell, taste or touch (choose two). Have fun, and sweet dreams.

    Monday, July 10, 2006

    The Old Woman and Her Cat

    The old woman shuffled along the moss covered stepping stones with an orange colored tabby walking in her shadow. The woman bent to pull a weed from between the cracks...TAKE IT FROM HERE

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    An Animal's POV

    Describe the world through an animal's POV. Choose one of the following:

    old dog

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Close Your Eyes

    Close your eyes and think back to your childhood. What games did you play? What dreams did you hold dear? What difficult situations did you face? Who was your best friend? Did you own a pet? Take music lessons? Write a paragraph or two describing an element from your childhood.

    Tuesday, July 04, 2006

    Thorn Prick

    A thorn can leave an almost imperceptible prick. Use this small wound as an integral part of the plot of a short story.

    Stump busters:

  • Poisonous or other substance that causes a change in the character.
  • Reminder that time has not passed as the character is led to believe.
  • Used as part of a bridal ritual.
  • One of your own ideas.
  • Monday, July 03, 2006

    Telltale Signs

    Did you ever take a shortcut while performing a chore because your heart wasn't in it? Perhaps stuck something in the dishwasher even though you knew it was at risk to warp or melt, or wore a new shirt while doing a task that might ruin it thinking you can be careful enough not to get grease, food, hair color (you get the idea) on the spanking new fabric.

    Write a scene from the first person point of view depicting an episode where lack of good judgment leaves behind a telltale sign.

    Sunday, July 02, 2006

    Abandoned House

    Describe the outward appearance and grounds of a well-maintained house in a paragraph or two.

    After you've completed this exercise, describe the same house after being abandoned for a month, then a year and then 25 years later.

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    A Child's Love

    Place your adult stick-in-the-mud character with all the personality of Scrooge in a situation with a loving accepting child that doesn't seem to notice the negative qualities.