Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Favorite Childhood Game

Think back to when you were young...say somewhere between the age of 5-15. That gives you plenty of room to pick a favorite game. Something you played with others.

For today's prompt, write about that game. No, not a dry this is how you play explanation. Instead write a scene showing the game being played. This exercise will help you develop the art of showing rather than telling as your write about something you know.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Story Starter

Start a story using the following:

Wind rushed down the mountain into the valley where families huddled against the unnatural storm...

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Panic Button

No this isn't about the button in the bank that tellers press when a bank heist is underway. What we'll write about today is hitting the send button and then regretting it. There's all sorts of possibilities...sending an angry email, submitting an application, or in the life of a writer a query, or...well you get the idea. Write a scene centered around clicking send by accident or on purpose and then regretting. What happens next?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Recipe Disaster

Write a story--fiction or nonfiction--about trying a new recipe. This prompt is inspired by the Thanksgiving my husband decided we would try popcorn stuffing in the bird. The popcorn was supposed to pop as the turkey cooked. Guess what? It didn't.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

This Week's Photo

Here's this week's photo. I won't say too much because I don't want to influence your story or scene. However, here are a couple of questions to get you started:

1. What did you notice first about this photo? What did you find the most interesting? It makes a great place to start your story.

2. What did you first think when you saw this photo? Something like who the heck would live there? Or I remember... Bring the answers to your thoughts into your writing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Creating Characters with Flaws

In real life, people are flawed. To create realistic characters they too need have flaws. These can be physical, emotional, verbal, sexual...

Create a scene introducing a character that shows their flaw or flaws. If you can't think of one consider the following:

*A young teen with crooked teeth
*A recently divorced person
*A child with a speech impediment
*A man who has learned he is impotent

For more on Well Rounded Characters check out my recent article at Inspired Author.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Animal Talk

Write a scene from an animal's POV. This will not only be fun but also opens your eyes to details you might not otherwise consider. The POV can belong to a family pet, a domestic animal or a critter in the wild. Heck, it can even be that raccoon that rummages through your trash each night.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Create a frazzled character--but don't use the word frazzled. Show it. Here are a few ideas to get your started:

  • Ready to leave for job interview and can't find car keys.
  • Lost the ring their spouse or friend gave to them and it's almost time for dinner with them.
  • Shopping for a birthday gift for the person who has everything.
  • Flying in business class with a chronically crying baby.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

From the News

Take a story from the news and use it as a springboard. Rewrite it using your own characters. Add details, change the ending--whatever you want--but make it yours.

Monday, February 18, 2008

First Sentence

Write a scene or short story starting with this sentence:

In the valley of rocks beyond the river a dim light...

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Conflict comes in different packages. There's inner conflict and outer conflict...things you can do something about and things you cant. Create a scene where your character experiences inner conflict that can be resolved if they take action.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Snack Food

Describe your favorite snack food. Try to include at least three of these senses:

  • Hearing
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Sight
  • Feel

Friday, February 15, 2008

Write This Story

You know the cliche. A picture is worth a 1,000 words. Your challenge today is to write a 1,000 words based on this photo.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Write a Scene where two characters who haven't seen each other for 20-40 years meet up. Here are a few possible scenarios or use one of your own:

  • Adopted child meets biological parent
  • High school reunion
  • First loves meet after years of marriage (it's up to you whether or not they are still married)
  • Military buddies

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Messy House

Write a scene involving a messy house. Have fun with it. Try your hand at humor. What does your character do when unexpected guests pull into the driveway and dirty dishes are piled in the sink and the house is cluttered with other stuff. Is the driveway long enough to give her time to do anything? If not how does she handle it?

Or have your character hunting for something they need within the mountains of mess. Like car keys for example. Let the house become a character as the two battle it out for possession of the car keys or whatever article you have your character searching for.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Paper Dolls

As a child I played with paper dolls made of lightweight cardboard and had great fun changing their outfits which were held on with little paper tabs.

For today's exercise post a character. For example. Feet spread a shoulder's width apart and hands on hips. Then take that same pose and dress the character in different clothing letting the way the character is dressed introduce the character.


She stood with her hands on her hips. The apron at her waist smeared with splatters of grease and what looked like chocolate. The spoon clutched in her hand dripped a dollop of goo on the floor. Her feet stood firmly planted as she stared down at my muddy shoes.

A sneer pulled at the corner of her red lips. Her knuckles rested on her hips drawing my eyes to her bare midriff, short skirt and those long legs hugged in thigh-high boots. Her feet spread about a foot apart I knew if I ran it would take a moment to get moving.

Her bottom lip jutted in a pout and started to quiver. She propped her hands on her hips and said, "It's not my fault. He made me do it." She stomped on foot to emphasize her point, crossed her arms and stood with her feet a shoulder's width apart. Her eyes dared her older brother to contradict her.

Monday, February 11, 2008

First Thoughts

Before you go to bed tonight place a pad of paper next to the bed. When you wake, write down your first thoughts. No matter what they are. This can include:

Things you need to do
Things bothering you
Memories from the previous day
Whatever you think...write.