Friday, November 28, 2008

Pending Disaster


Hope you all enjoyed a blessed Thanksgiving Day. Fond memories are kindled by the gatherings, scents and sitting around talking of things past. Today's prompt will center around such a day, but the prompt will challenge you to introduce a sound or smell that foreshadows pending disaster.

For example, amid the busyness of preparing a meal for a large gathering, amid the laughter, threads of conversation, children playing...a wisp of smoke curls from the oven. That scent paints the picture of a pending disaster.

Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Have fun with this one. It doesn't have to be a catastrophic disaster. It could just be the rolls burning after the turkey or ham has been taken from the oven, or something like adding too much spice to a dish. This does not have to be a true story, but you'll most likely pull from past experience or design characters with traits similar to some of the real-life characters in your life.

Also, your story does not have to be about Thanksgiving. It can be any gathering where people are getting together for a meal. Here are some other ideas:

*Fourth of July barbecue
*Wedding rehearsal dinner held in someone's home
*Sunday afternoon dinner at Grandma's
*First meal cooking for Inlaws

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bullet


Today in the news there's a story about a man cutting his grass. Riding along on his mower, something hit him in the chest. He thought it was a rock, but when he checked it out found a bullet stopped by his cell phone which instead of carrying in his hip pocket, he clipped on the front of his shirt. There's a story in that bullet. Where did it come from? Who fired it? Was this an accident or intentional? Does this experience change the man's life?

Pumping Your Muse Prompt

Today's prompt includes a bullet. The flavor and theme is up to you. If you want further information, use one of the following phrases:

*Bite the bullet
*Faster than a speeding bullet
*Silver bullet
*Magic bullet
*Bullet with my name on it

To add to the challenge, include at least one detail for the sense of smell, hearing and sense of the unknown.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Unprepared? Maybe, Maybe Not


In our last prompt we talked about expectations. Today we'll continue on this theme, but we're going to add a twist. Write a scene in which it seems obvious that your character is unprepared for lies ahead. Your goal is to make it appear the character is careless, unprepared or just not ready when in fact, they are following a calculated a plan which leads to a surprise ending.

Pumping Your Muse Prompts

Use one of the following character profiles to get you started:

  • Person of faith walking into a trap
  • Teenager walking out the door in anger
  • Child lost in a crows
  • Truck driver breaks down
  • Person who can't swim goes out in a boat
Write a story between 1000 and 1200 words
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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Misdirected Expectations

One of the skills needed to keep a plot interesting is to create questions in the readers mind. Why? Who? What? Where? When? Along with that is the ability to misdirect expectations. You want to avoid predictability. Consider this blurb from a recent review of my novel Beyond the Fifth Gate:


"There are plenty of plot twists along the way and the ending is a real shocker which truly caught me off guard just when I thought I had it all figured out." (Read the entire review here)

Writing a plot that makes readers expect one thing and delivers a different reality is challenging but fun. It leaves the reader pondering and talking about your story. Today's prompt is designed to practice this skill.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Choose one of the following starting points and ending point and write a scene:

Starting Points:
*First day of school
*Learning to drive
*First date
*Finding a bone fragment

Ending Points:
*Making a profit
*Discovering a deadly secret
*Disappointment in the truth
*Character discovers a truth within

Use starting and ending points from the list or your own, but in the end leave your character and your reader changed.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fleeting Thought


Did you ever experience a burst of inspiration...a great idea...just before falling asleep? It's so good you don't have to get up and write it down. I mean it's brilliant!

I experienced just such a moment last night. Something to share with all my faithful readers. Except when I awoke only threads remained. Not threads of the actual idea, but of the memory that there once existed a great idea. Don't trust your memory! Write it down.

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Place a note pad and pen by your bedside and write down the last ideas of the day. Do this for at least three days. Select one of your ideas and write a short story or essay based on it.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Lexus Magazine Story Prompt

Today's prompt is for a specific market.

Lexus magazine is asking readers everywhere to come up with the ending to
their cross-country adventure story. So far, nine installments have been
written by award-winning authors, and the ending is up to any aspiring
writer out there. The best ending will be posted in the next online issue
of Lexus magazine alongside some of the country's best. It should be no
more than 1,000 words and the deadline is fast approaching-- November 16.

Those eager to write should post their stories at:
http://www.lexus.com/magazine/lifestyle-pursuits/itbotb/index.html#top
Click the red "How Would You End It?" tab, fill in the necessary
information and paste in the story.

Lexus magazine's site can be found at: http://www.lexus.com/magazine

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Monday, November 10, 2008

President's DNA


In my book, Pumping Your Muse, some of the writing exercises take you to the news...past or present. Today in the news they talked about the fact that one thing the Secret Service is responsible for is making sure the President doesn't leave behind his DNA. If he drinks from a disposable coffee cup, the cup must be destroyed. This is an interesting story premise. What would the enemy do with the President's DNA?

Today's Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Write a story that involves collecting the President's DNA. This has the potential of a thrilling Whodunit. Today's prompt only requires the collecting of the DNA, but I challenge you to figure out what the plans are beyond that...answer these questions:

  • Who harvested the DNA?
  • Are they working for someone else?
  • What do they plan to do with it?
  • Do they accomplish their goal?
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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Change of Seasons


It's a beautiful time of year. Ribbons of color climb the foothills here in Georgia as leaves mark the change of seasons. The display inspires contemplation.

Pumping Your Muse Prompts:

Use the change of seasons to introduce changes in your character's life. Are they invigorated, or does melancholy overtake them? Here's the fun part. Show it, don't tell it.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel. Also available in ebook.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Write a Scene Photo Prompt


Pumping Your Muse Prompt:

Write a scene inspired by this photo. Originally I was going to write a prompt about breaking a habit, but this photo opens the door to a variety of options. Here are a few questions to get your started:

*Whose hand is this?
*How do they feel?
*Where are they?
*Why do they smoke?
*What does the room smell like? Or the character's hair and clothes?

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I Love Your Blog Award!

I Love Your Blog Award!

It's Wednesday, and the the middle of the week. I have a midweek blessing to share. Yesterday I Pumping Your Muse Prompts received the I Love Your Blog Award from the gifted Chiron O'Keefe's blog The Write Soul. She's a fiction writer who also writes a motivational essay for writers each week.

Thanks, Chiron, you made my day!

In return, I'd like to do the same for others and pass on to you some of favorite blogs for writers. Today I award them with the "I Love Your Blog" award. Be sure to check them out for your inspiration today, and along the way you'll gather some great resources:

Mike's Writing Workshop and Newsletter

Advanced advice for writers of all genres: Publish, Earn Money, and Improve at the Craft.

Muze's Musings

Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – Basics of Book Promotion shares all kinds of promotional and articles with links to more information for writers on her blog Muze's Musings.

The Fearless Blog

This blog challenges its readers to be courageous and attempts to inspire, motivate and celebrate life, its challenges, obstacles and joys.

Murder By 4

Here you'll find interesting articles, author interviews, articles by guest bloggers, reviews, and an insider's look at the publishing world.

The Writing Nag

An almost daily blog of writing quotes, inspiration and writing exercises from a beginning freelance writer.

Sharon's Writing Lab

Experimental writing from Sharon Hurley Hall. Includes creative writing, freelance writing, book reviews, travel tales and much more.

Foot In Mouth Disease, Content Writing for the People

A content writing advice blog with helpful tips on how to write compelling content that is effective in the search engines and converts traffic into customers.

Creative Writing Corner

With weekly writing exercises, inspirational photos and poems, and daily thoughts on the writing life, Creative Writing Corner is for the writer in all of us.

Confident Writing

Join the conversation about what it means to write with confidence. Tips, suggestions, examples and a chance to make connections with other writers, readers and learners. Hosted by Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach - because our words count.

Single Source Writing

Single source for writing, thoughts, and social networking

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day


For the Pumping Your Muse Prompts readers living in the U.S., today is election day. You may or may not have time to write, but for those who voted early, here's a prompt that pertains to today.

Pumping Your Muse Prompts
With all the spin put out by the talking heads media, wouldn't it be great if someone, somehow created a way that only the truth could be spoken on election day...even by the candidates...win or lose. And would the truth make a difference in the outcome of the race? Interesting concept, eh?

Write a short story about an Election Day where all the journalists, news anchors and politicians can't lie. It's all about the truth and nothing but the truth. Sad but true, this could be a humorous story so have fun with it.

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If you enjoy prompts, check out Pumping Your Muse. The prompts included in this creative writing book challenge the imagination to take new direction and if followed to the conclusion of the book, provide a detailed outline along with completed scenes and developed characters for one novel, as well as a solid start for a second novel.