Saturday, June 28, 2008

Time Travel Fun

I enjoy time travel stories and thought we'd have some fun today by pulling a character from the past to bring them in to today's culture. What would they think? How would they adapt, and would they want to stay? To get you started, include one or more of the following:

  • car
  • television
  • telephone
  • electricity
  • computer
  • fashion

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Embarrassment is one of those things writer's often use in their stories, and sometimes poses a problem when you want to show embarrassment rather than passively say what a character feels. Write a short scene that shows an embarrassed character and include one of the following:

  • shoe
  • wallet
  • passing gas
  • a touch
Remember that the POV character cannot see their own face blush, so if they are the one who is embarrassed they will have to feel it rather than see it.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


The term homecoming has several different meanings. I just returned from a whirlwind trip loaded with long hours and catching up with family I haven't seen for years. This story could be written from two views. The first is going back to my roots for a family reunion and the second could be written about how good it feels to be home.

Write a story that includes the theme of homecoming. Be sure to include emotion and sensual information including scents and sounds. If you want to challenge yourself, write the story from two POV.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fish Story

Exaggeration is often used in speech and can be an effective tool in writing humor, horror, establishing character traits and more. Write a scene using hyperbole as a form of exaggeration.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Photo Prompt

I came across this photo and just couldn't pass up the opportunity to use it as a prompt.

Today's Prompt:

Based on this photo, have three children/young adults walk through the woods where this tree is located. They find a crystal sword embedded in the tree...then what?

Monday, June 16, 2008

What is That?

Describe by showing a detail in this photo in about 50 words. This prompt will help develop your skill at showing not telling. The key is, don't name the object itself. For example if you're describing the book--don't use the word book. If you describe the hand, don't use the word hand.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Writing a Mystery

Hope you're doing well and will have a minute to read a great post in MURDER BY 4 by author R. C. Burdick titled "Tools of the Writer's Trade." You'll find plenty of practical information for writers.

Bob began writing for publication in 1982. He has published dozens of articles and short stories and also counts two mystery novels among his credits: THE MARGARET ELLEN (2004) and TREAD NOT ON ME (2005). Additionally, his short story collection, STORIES ALONG THE WAY, won the 2002 Royal Palm Book Award. As a contributing writer his work has appeared in the Chatsworth Times, The Time Courier, and The St. Petersburg Times. His work in progress includes Death At Bear Creek Summit and Bottom Feeders, a sequel to The Margaret Ellen. Since 2001, Burdick has also been a columnist and contributing writer for Inky Trail News.

With this in mind, today's prompt deals with writing mystery. For those who follow my writing, you know that I most often write fantasy, speculative fiction or inspiration non-fiction. However, my first published story was a mystery which came about as the result of a writing prompt. Today, I share a similar prompt with you.

Today's Prompt:

Write for 15 minutes. Don't stop to make changes, just write. Use one or more of the following as a springboard:
  • A crime that happens at a wedding
  • A crime that takes place in a garden
  • Involves a missing person or pet
  • Crime that takes place while hiking

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Dads and the Baby Blues

Another prompt from the news and the upcoming celebration of Father's Day.

Did you know new dads can get the "baby blues" too? Write a story about a father adjusting to life as a new dad.


Write an article about the latest research on health issues affecting dads such as:

  • depression
  • tips on how dads can enjoy the wonders of fatherhood AND protect their physical and mental health
For more information and a list of experts check out:

Expert Alert - Dads get the baby blues, too

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tornados and Other Severe Weather

I grew up in the tornado belt and experienced more than one tornado in my childhood and lived through hurricane Charley. They spawn stories I tell to this day. With the rash of severe weather experienced around the world this year, there's all kinds of stories in the news. Write a true experience, or take a detail from the news and use it as a springboard for a story. It doesn't have to be a disaster story. Just think, without a tornado, Wizard of Oz wouldn't work. Use a natural event as a catalyst for change in your character's world.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Gasoline Prices

Choosing a hot news topic for your fiction writing gives your story an audience and plenty of PR opportunities. For today's writing prompt, I figure there's nothing hotter than the current gasoline prices.

Today's Prompt:

Write a story using gas prices as your central plot theme. If you want to really challenge yourself, write a humorous story. This twist will make your story marketable because it not only touches on a topic close to everyone's pocketbook but will help them laugh to reduce the stress of filling their gas tank.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Phone Call

The phone is an instrument. How it is used depends on circumstances. When a telemarketer calls it can add frustration or irritation to a scene. When a character calls with news, what happens next depends on what the news comes through the receiver.

Today's Prompt:

Write a scene that depicts day-to-day life until the phone rings. Use the phone call as an agent of change. What changes is up to your and your muse. Changes can build slowly with repeated calls, or all at once with one call. Riiing...the phone is for you.

Monday, June 09, 2008

List Links - Pulling From the Past

Today's link will be a quick list. Start with a childhood memory. It can be anything. Then write down the next thing that comes to mind and the next, and the next. Do this for 3-5 minutes. Here's a sample list:
  • stung by a wasp
  • bus shelter
  • pulling pranks
  • riding cousins bike
  • brother falling off bike
  • job slowdown
  • brother's roommate committing suicide
  • enabling
This list is connected. The average reader won't see the connection, and the list ended no where near where it started. But in the process, ideas were pulled from the past and any one of them can be developed into the story. This is a great exercise for those who want to write inspirational stories.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Three Word Writing Prompt

Write a scene using three of the following words:
  • packing
  • sad
  • pregnant
  • garden
  • computer
  • dog
  • tea or coffee

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Parking Place

Have you ever had your eye on a parking place only to have someone swing into it by coming down the lane the wrong direction! Parking places offer plenty of stories. Where are the people going? Are parking places hard to come by? Is your character in a hurry? Is the weather a factor?

Write a scene centered around a parking place. Include the following:
  • Emotion
  • Smell
  • Sound

Monday, June 02, 2008

Tales With a Twist

I grew up watching Twilight Zone, Outerlimits and other thought provoking shows that many times caught me unaware with a twist at the end of the story. The one that comes to mind right now is the tale of a man who undergoes torture of an earwig implanted in his ear. He survives the agony as the bug makes it through his brain and exits the opposite ear. I breathed a sigh of relief with the character and then the bombshell hit. The bug is female and has laid her eggs in his brain!

Today's prompt is to write a short story with such a twist. If you're looking for ideas here are a few to get you started. Use one or more of these elements:

*Missing pet
*Buying the car you always wanted
*Hiring a PI
*Falsifying records

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Around the Table

Set a scene using a kitchen or dining room table as the central focus. For today's prompt, write three short scenes around the same table. Have each scene take place 10-20 years apart. Show detail that reveals the decade. What color are the walls? Is there a floor covering? Is the table top Formica? Is there an ice box, an old Frigidaire? What hairstyles do your characters have? What toy is the child playing with at the table?

This will be as much fun as watching the manikin change clothes in the original Time Machine movie!