September 2016 Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts September 2016
Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle

Though I know that January 1 is the official New Year, I always think of September 1 as the beginning of my year. It’s time to buckle down after a lazy summer and get some work done. I have a couple of freelance projects beginning now and some creative ideas, too. I haven’t felt particularly creative for a while, so the latter is really good news.

Here are some writing prompts to inspire you in the cooler, shorter days ahead, when finding the time to take the writing outdoors becomes rare and precious–at least in my part of the world.

Choose one, some or all of the words in these groups to create a story or poem:

  • plastic pail, lake, shadow, breeze, willow, blue
  • umbrella, swing, dog, joy, bridge, footsteps, grey
  • crows, wall, red, column, look, clouds, alone

Here are some opening lines that might inspire a story or scene:

  • What was that ladder doing there?
  • Helen heard a cry from across the lake.
  • The loud blast of the ferry boat horn made Henry jump. He was leaving after all.
  • The street magician grinned as he handed bright pink cards to the laughing crowd. Helen looked at her card and then looked up into the crystal blue eyes of the magician. “Wait for me,” he whispered and then turned to the next person. Helen looked at the card again. Black letters spelled: “Helen. “You’re in danger.”
  • Normally, Henry didn’t like strong displays of emotion, but slamming that door had felt good.
  • They smelled fire. Enemy or friend?
  • The tree branches shuddered. Helen hadn’t felt a breeze.
  • Sometimes being alone was okay. This wasn’t one of those times.
  • Blue skies for the funeral.

Here are some titles waiting for a story or poem:

Black Lake, Let It Be, One Last Time, A Cup of Tea, Storm Warning, The First Day, The Black Cliffs, The Ghost of Fort Renfrew, Red Sky at Morning, Stuff Happens, Love Returns, Mystery By Chance

See what scenes  you can create from these lines of dialogue:

Henry went for a walk.
So?
He’s angry.

What’s a dog doing here?
That’s not a dog. It’s a coyote.

We’re not supposed to talk about that.
Why?
They don’t want us to.

I hate spiders. Everywhere we’ve walked this morning I’ve run into webs.
That’s a good thing.
Why?
It means no one has been here ahead of us.

Why don’t you just leave.
I can’t.
You can.
Okay then, I won’t. Someone here needs me. I just have to figure out who.

Increasing the tension in your story: “When sorrows come, they come not single spies/But in battalions.” Think of this quote from Hamlet when you are working on your story. Give  your character an extra layer to the conflicts she’s already facing–news that a friend or relative is ill, a twisted ankle, a lost wallet, a cellphone glitch, a headache, you get the idea–add some more trouble to increase the tension in your story.
The many faces of conflict: Think about ways of incorporating other forms of conflict into your story.
person vs. person: character’s sister ruins her favourite shirt, character’s team mate tells a lie
person vs. nature: add bad weather to a challenging situation.
person vs. self: dig deep to find out what  your character is afraid of and make sure that he or she has to face it–think Ron Weasley and spiders, Indiana Jones and snakes, Katniss and the threat to her sister ….
person vs. society: this could be range from getting stuck with a parking ticket to defying an unjust authority figure or government
person vs. technology: What happens to your characters when the power goes out? Computer hacking. Think sci-fi and all the possibilities with robots, cyborgs, androids, implants … this topic is wide open.
I hope you enjoy the prompts and have a creative September ahead!

Writing Productivity Tips and Prompts for August 2016

writing productivity tips and  writing prompts for August 2016

I hope your summer has been going well with some well-earned downtime, and I hope, some creative time, too.

If your creative output hasn’t been what you hoped, I’ve listed some links to helpful tips for boosting creativity and output. Of course, you might just be looking for the perfect story idea. I hope that the writing prompts below will help you find it.

LINKS

If you’re not meeting your daily writing goals, maybe mini-goals will help:
http://kristiholl.net/writers-blog/2014/08/not-enough-willpower-goals-make-mini-habits/

Here are some tips for speeding up the writing:
http://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-write-a-book-fast/

This is a different take on planning a novel that just might help you get the work done:
http://blog.janicehardy.com/2016/07/6-easy-steps-to-planning-out-your-novel.html

Here are some creativity boosters from Jenny Bravo:
http://jennybravobooks.com/blog/boost-your-creativity

WRITING PROMPTS

a) Use one, some or all of these words to write a story or poem.

switch, rain, door, collar, blue, brick, stifling
window, light, glass, dial, time, grey, cold
fragment, yellow, parched, reflection, tip, shade

b) Try one of these opening sentences to start a story.

I thought you said a child could open this.
Nice room except for the body on the floor.
We waited. Finally, the voice over the loudspeaker said exactly what we didn’t want to hear.
When do you expect the patrol?
I hated missing the bus.
When Helen calls, it’s always trouble.
Henry didn’t come home last night.
What do you think we should do now?
Music was Henry’s life.
I think that cat can read my mind.

c) What scenes can you imagine around these short dialogue excerpts?

Why doesn’t Henry come inside.
He hasn’t finished.
Finished what?

I wish it wasn’t so cold.
You think this is cold?
Seriously?

I can’t keep running like this.
We don’t have any choice.
What if one of us does have a choice.

Look! Over there! Lights! That must mean people!
Quiet! Not all people are friends.

Here’s the package you wanted.
Thanks. You can leave now.
That’s where you’re wrong.

I didn’t think you’d invited Helen.
She invited herself.
That complicates things.

d) Does one of these titles suggest a story?

Peanut Butter and Romance, The Last Warrior, Storm, Taking Flight, The Eighth Wonder, Science Fair Drop Out, The Last Time, Berserk, Fear Lives Here, I Don’t Like Scary Movies, The Secret that Wasn’t, Last Year’s Model

e) What does your main character like to do on a summer day? Go to the beach? Visit a big city and see the sights? Get together and play games with friends? Find a quiet, shady spot and read a book? What do you like to do?

f) Ice cream is a favorite summer treat. Think about your characters. What flavors of ice cream would they choose? Why did you choose those flavors for your characters?

Stop Summer Slide Here

keyboard-1395316_1920

If you’re a bored teen or pre-teen or the parent of one, here are some ideas for getting creative and having fun this summer.

a) The writing prompts on this website here and here give you plenty of ideas for stories, movie scripts, play scripts, comic books, you name it, (and there are more suggestions in the links tab.) You can also find story planners and a fun idea generator here. 

b) Visit a bookstore or the library with a friend and take a bag or envelope with some small pieces of blank paper inside. When you arrive, divide the papers between the two of you, and walk through the library/store with a pen, and write down a random book title on each piece of paper. When you’re done,  put them back in the envelope. Then each of you draws out one piece of paper and that’s the title for your story, or maybe it’s something one of the characters says. Since you know you could pick one of the titles you put in, make sure you choose titles that have story potential.

c) Check out the amazing drawings created by Chris Van Allsburg for The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the photos and see what stories your imagination can create.

d) Write a story with a friend. This is great fun for a rainy day or a long car ride. Choose an opening line from one of the prompts on this website and then write a story with each of you writing one sentence and then passing the story to the other person for the next sentence. See how far you can go. Be as silly as you like. If you each decide that you have great ideas for finishing the story on your own, go ahead and write two stories. It will be fun to see how each of your stories turns out.

e) Write a story or fairy tale for a child that you know–little brother or sister, cousin, the child you babysit. Make the child the hero of your story. Here’s a link to some great ideas for folded paper books that are kid-sized: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Booklet-from-Paper You can also use these little books to collect and illustrate quotes from your favourite writers or famous people who inspire you.

f) Do some coloring–and find a story. Download the free coloring pages available on this website or check out some of the free coloring page sites that you can find on Google. Here are a couple that have some interesting pages for downloading. Some of them depict moments in stories. Maybe after coloring a page or two, you can come up with your own story to match the picture. http://www.kids-n-fun.com/coloringpages/tag/teens-difficult-coloring-pages or http://www.supercoloring.com/. The latter site also has tutorials that teach you how to draw your own images for coloring.

g) Draw a detailed map of a village, kingdom, haunted house, planet, island–whatever your imagination suggests. What adventures will your characters have here? Do the place names you chose suggest a fantasy, a mystery, an adventure? Try putting characters from your favourite books in this setting and see what happens.

h) Every watch a movie or read a book and hate the ending? Write a new one or write a sequel if you think there are more stories to tell about these characters.

i) Read, read, read. One of the best ways to fill the writer’s creative well is to escape into the worlds of other authors. Try reading something you don’t normally read. Chose a mystery instead of a fantasy, or an adventure instead of a love story.

j) Of course, if you want some other inspiration, drop by here to check out some books that might help you fill your creative well, too. Yes, these are books that I wrote. 🙂

Hope you have a wonderful and creative summer!

 

 

 

Writing Prompts for July 2016 and Links to Plotting Tips

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I went away for the weekend and never opened the laptop once. Yikes! So I hope all my Canadian friends had a wonderful Canada Day weekend, and I wish all my American friends a happy 4th of July!

Once the celebrations are over and the summer officially lays ahead, I hope your thoughts turn to writing, and for those NaNoWriMo people—planning. I have many great writing resources saved on Pinterest. Please drop by and check them out. In the meantime, here’s a sample of a few that fit into the category of plotting:

https://janefriedman.com/use-plot-planner/
How to Use a Plot Planner by Jane Friedman – This blog goes way beyond the basics.

http://blog.janicehardy.com/2010/07/enemy-mine.html
What’s the Problem: The Four Basic Conflict Types by Janice Hardy – This blog explains how the different kinds of conflict build your plot.

http://mythcreants.com/blog/planning-character-arcs/
Planning Character Arcs by Chris Winkle – “If you like to plan your stories ahead, you’ve almost certainly sketched out your plot. But have you planned your character arcs? Every story needs a character arc for its protagonist, even if it’s simple or subtly conveyed. And while supporting characters don’t always need an arc, stories are better off when they’re included.”

http://www.darcypattison.com/plot/29-plot-templates
29 Plot Templates by Darcy Pattison — “Plot templates are helpful in telling an author the possible events for different sections of the story. I like to consult these when I’m first thinking of an idea for a novel and when I start a revision. I want to know what is typical for the type story I’m telling and knowing that, I can create variations that will hold a reader’s interest.”

And now for your July writing prompts:

Use one, some, or all of these words in a story or poem.

  • mice, blue, ribbon, tower, storm, tremble
  • green, room, light, empty, fear, find
  • road, narrow, edge, safe, red, leave

See if one of these titles inspires a story: The Two Tree, Winters Lost, Fir Weather Enemy, The Bridge, Good Works, Lesson Not Learned, Cats are Trouble, The Map, Love Looks the Other Way, Island Adventure, My Day.

Here are some opening lines you can try:

  • I don’t want to know where you’ve been.
  • This plan can’t fail.
  • Henry didn’t know he was going for his last walk own Grey Street.
  • What’s that around your neck?
  • My sister thought she knew everything
  • Dogs can smell a liar.
  • I can’t find Skipper.
  • The ground shook.
  • Helen remembered ______________, but it was too late.

Maybe one of these dialogue excerpts will help you imagine a scene or a story.

When did you last talk to Henry?
A couple of days ago. Why?
No one seems to have seen him since Tuesday night.

I think I know what’s going on.
I’m glad someone does.
I didn’t say it was a good thing.

Where are you going?
I can’t tell you.
Can’t? Or won’t?

Why are you stopping?
My back hurts.
Let me carry (it, her, him) for a while.
No. This is my job.

Helen passed me her laptop this morning, so I could add my pages to the project.
So?
She had some really strange pages open on Google.
Like what?

What do you like most about summer? Least? How does your character feel about summer? What’s his or her favourite season? Why?

Wishing you a writerly July!

 

Writing Prompts for June, 2016

Writing Prompts for June 2016

I had hoped to post more often in May, but I ran up against a challenge that needed my attention and will continue to need it for, at least, the rest of the summer. Everyone knows someone, and now, I’m that someone–with cancer. I’ll be meeting next week with oncologists to talk about the biopsies that were taken during my surgery two weeks ago, and I’ve been prepared to expect a fairly long slog of treatments. I’m glad that so many options are available for me, and am lucky that so much is known about breast cancer and its treatment. I have learned a lot about patience in the last couple of weeks. I haven’t liked it, but I’ve learned. I’ve learned that you should quit trying to do what you used to be able to do or what you think you should do, and just stop, relax and let your body heal. That’s going to be my motto for what’s ahead. Trust the therapies and give my body every chance to do what it needs to do.

I am very hopeful, and I plan to keep creating writing prompts and adding new things to the site. If you’re on Pinterest you can also find me here with lots of writing ideas, tips, inspiration, etc.

Here are the writing prompts for June. I hope you find a story or two and have a writerly month ahead!

See if you can make a story or poem from one of these groups of random words.

  • sky, iron, leaf, pillar, red, hunger
  • pain, fear, ransom, gold, pool, today
  • connect, random, beside, hesitate,joy, meaning
  • crystal, white, cold, persistent, steps, struggle

Maybe one of these titles will inspire you.

Backpack Blues, Rising Sea, Summer Camp Mystery, Mr. Quinn, For the Asking, Dragon Throne, Julia, The Wind and the Rain, The Fortune, Treasure Quest, Helen’s Song, Quantum, Ryder, Piecing It Together, Time Travel Isn’t for Sissies, Fire in the West.

Here are some opening lines. What story do they suggest to you?

  • Once again I was awake at the crack of stupid.
  • Grey clouds scudded across the sky. It smelled like like rain.
  • “Benny is lost.”
  • That rumble in the distance wasn’t thunder.
  • Helen looked up from her laptop. Henry was the last person she wanted to see right now.
  • That last arrow was too close.
  • “We have to move.”
  • Buster whined and pushed my leg with his paw. Then I smelled the smoke, too.
  • Henry blew out the candle and we waited in the dark.
  • Helen was a collector.

Some random dialogue excerpts. Who’s talking? Where are they? What are they doing and thinking?

You said you were going to help.
I changed my mind.

Where were you yesterday?
None of your business.
I/We missed you.

What do you really know about Henry?
I know enough.
Are you sure?

I saw you yesterday at the park. I waved but you didn’t see me.
You couldn’t have seen me. I never left the house.

Are you sure you don’t want to come with us?
I’m sure.

If you’re trying to figure out the conflict in your story, check out this great post from Janet Hardy: What’s the Problem: The Four Classic Conflict Types.

Writing Prompts for May, 2016

Writing Prompts for May 2016

“Tra la, it’s May” goes the Lerner and Loewe song, and it really is starting to look like spring here. The squirrels are busy eating the buds on my cherry tree–clearly they don’t plan for the future–two robin families have set up housekeeping under my deck, and my dandelions are in full bloom. I’m doing my part for the bee population by not mowing them down yet. (Yes, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

On the writing side, I hope you have a creative month ahead. If you’re a fan of adult coloring–or your students are–don’t forget to check out this link for some writer’s coloring pages. Also, here are links to the coloring pages for King Lear, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth that go with my Shakespeare journal writing prompts.

Here are your writing prompts for May. Enjoy!

**Random words to combine for a story or poem

spring, path, lurk, green, shadow, shiver, cloud
disc, danger, surprise, red, angle, willow
friend, gate, run, sunlight, stream, blue

**Opening sentences for your story or novel

“I wonder where that came from?”
Helen couldn’t stop looking out the window.
“When was the last time you were really happy?”
Gravel crunched beneath their boots.
Henry hated his dentist, but he was still sorry when he found the body.
So here’s the story. I got dumped at Disneyland.
Class trips were never fun with Ms. Wigglebergen.

**Maybe one of these titles will spark a story idea.

Winter Rose, The Lonely Spider, Gateway to Wonder, The Book and the Burglar, Danger is Not My Middle Name, The Page, Miss Fortune, Everyone Loves a Lover, When Henry Came Home, The Wethering, The Red Land

**Here are some snippets of dialogue. What scene can you imagine taking place around them?

What did you buy that for?
I thought you’d like it.

Did you see that?
What?
That black thing over there.
Where? Oh!

I thought Helen would win.
So did I.
What are we going to do now?

I wish I knew where he got all that money.
I think I know.
So where?
I don’t think it’s safe to tell you.

**How does your character react to bad news? Does your character withdraw into himself or run around being busy? Are her emotions well controlled or do you know exactly how she feels about what she’s heard?

**This is a good time of year to literally stop and smell the flowers. How does a love of nature fit into your character’s personality?

Hope you all have a writerly month!

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompts for April, 2016

daffodils-716370_1920Sorry to be a day late, but yesterday was one of THOSE days. My mom, who has an apartment in our basement, woke up to a soaked bedroom carpet, our sump pump broke, and what I thought was going to be physio for a sore trapezius muscle turned into a diagnosis of rotator cuff injury and tendinitis. Today we still need a part for the new pump hook-up and the carpet (now dry) needs to be re-laid with new underpadding, and it snowed over night. On the positive side, it wasn’t rain and I woke up early enough to get these prompts to you for a creative, writerly April ahead.

My online course, The Teen Writer’s Toolbox, is behind my personal deadline. I’m at the recording stage and it’s going slowly, but I’m pleased with any progress right now. I have hopes that it will be available by the end of next week. Look for a notice soon with the announcement and a discount price for those willing to be part of the beta launch.

I’ve used a photo of daffodils today. Mine have been through rain, snow, sleet, hail, high winds, frost, freezing rain, ice, you name it. If they bloom this year, they will qualify, in my books, for the most tenacious plant ever! I have a lot to learn from them.

The winners of a free PDF copy of 201 Writing Prompts are Kari, Lisa, and Christine. I’ll send those along to you tomorrow. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who commented on my post and who offered great suggestions for my new course!

Here are the prompts I promised.

Use one, some, or all of these words in a story or poem:

fire, light, field, lost, run, black
case, grip, red, box, secret, cord
bowl, gold, web, border, track, glimpse

Here are some opening lines for you to try:

Who’s that woman in the photo?
Two years ago, I swore I’d never come back here again.
It’s no unusual to find odd bits of paper tucked into library books for a bookmark, but this time it was a letter.
Some jokes just aren’t funny.
“Next time,” said Henry, “we’ll plan our escape in better weather.”
“Moon Base Omega failed to report, sir.”
We heard the approaching horses (car) and hurried further into the woods.
I was not ready to admit defeat.

Perhaps these titles will inspire a story: The Reluctant Prince, Fire in the Hills, Murder at the Laundromat, Love and Old Movies, Yesterday Rain, The Haunting, If Looks Could Kill, Box Lunch, Danger’s Throne, Push Button to Reset, Three Robots, Holiday for Horror.

Here are some snippets of dialogue. Can you picture a scene or a story to go with them?

Am I late? Did I miss the bus?
Yes, and yes.
Why did you wait for me?

I can’t come. I’ve got work to do.
Look, it’s just this once, and we won’t be late.

Why did Henry choose to meet us here?
He said it would be safe.
You’re joking, right?

Lord Henry doesn’t trust us.
How can you tell.
His men are following us.

Oh no! My laptop’s got some weird virus!
What’s it doing?
My screen is blank except for three sets of numbers and the word help.
Let me see.

Draw for 3 Free Copies of 201 Writing Prompts

201 Writing PromptsI’m a little early for the vernal equinox, but I thought I’d celebrate spring by offering a draw for 3 PDF copies of one of my books, 201 Writing Prompts. (Click on the cover to learn more about the book.) The three winning names will be chosen from those who leave a comment on this blog post between now (March 17, 2016) and 5 PM Eastern Time on Thursday, March 31, 2016. I’ll be entering everyone’s name into random.org and the top three names will be the winners.

If you can’t think of anything to write as a comment, I’d really appreciate your input on my current project. I’m creating an online fiction writing course for teens. The course can be used by teen writers as a resource and guide for their writing projects, and I’m also preparing support material for homeschoolers who might want to use it with their students.

  • Any particular topics that you think I must definitely cover in this course?
  • Any topics you need resources for?
  • Any writing examples or models that you’d love to have?
  • What’s the most important topic that should be covered in a fiction writing course for teens?

Any suggestions you offer will be greatly appreciated!

Don’t forget to leave your comment for a chance to win a PDF copy of 201 Writing Prompts. Good luck!

Writing Prompts March 2016

March came in like a lion here with high winds and snow. Today, we have blue skies and sunshine. Yup, it’s March in Ontario alright. Aside from surviving the crazy weather, I’ve been the unwelcome host of a nasty cold (snorfle, sniff, moan) since Sunday, and finally crawled out of my pity party today to realize that I hadn’t written my March writing prompts. You will find them below.

Online course planning with sticky notes
Online course planning with sticky notes

Since I wrote last, I have been busy working on creating an online fiction writing course for teen writers with help from Joseph Michael and D’vorah Lansky. It’s a painstaking process and I don’t imagine anything will see the light of day until May, but it’s been exciting to brainstorm topics and ideas in the planning stages. I’m a big fan of sticky notes for this part of the process, as you can see. Soon, I will be getting down to organizing all this pink chaos into units and lessons. After that comes the creation of the actual audio-visual components–a scary prospect, I can assure you. Like most people, I’m not in my happy place in front of a microphone. But, I also enjoy a challenge, so … 🙂

Here are your writing prompts. I hope you have a creative March ahead!

Use one, some, or all of the words in these groups to create a story or poem:

  • flower, song, frame, balloon, calm, purple
  • chair, shadow, dial, repair, candle, cup, yellow
  • path, marking, window, sky, light, white

See if you can imagine a story or poem with one of these titles: Thursday’s Child, A Small Hero, Shadow Land, The Blue Empire, Target Gold, Last Gasp, Dragon Rites, Clock Tower, Midnight Moon, The Wanderer, Broken Promise

Try one of these opening lines for your story or novel:

  • One of these days, I’m going to say no.
  • I agreed that Henry was a puzzle, but I was the only one who thought a couple of pieces were missing.
  • It’s bad enough when your ex-boyfriend calls you, but when the call is from his mother, it’s time for action!
  • I knew that sound. Dragons.
  • I thought space was supposed to be silent.
  • We didn’t know it would be our last sunset at the lake.
  • Tires screeched. I turned and ran down the alley.
  • He lit a cigarette and watched Henry close the door.

See if you can imagine a scene from one of these groups of dialogue lines:

Are you sure we’re going the right way?
These are the directions Henry gave me.
Was that before or after you had the fight?

Do you think Mrs. Wilson knows?
Knows what?
That Helen cheated.
We’ll find out soon.

I saw Henry this morning.
But, I thought he said he was leaving last night.
That’s what he wanted us to think.

Why do we have to meet on the bridge?
What’s the matter? Scared?
I’ve got every reason to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompts for February 2016

Wow! How did it get to February 5th without my noticing that I hadn’t created any writing prompts for February 1st? I’ve had my head in every other place but this blog, and here’s where it’s been.

A coloring book for writers with inspiring quotes to add some fun to your writing day.Launching a new book. Yes, I finished a coloring book for writers, and it’s now available at Amazon. It was a fun project, and I hope my fellow writers enjoy it. I love coloring books myself, and having learned how to play with some new software called Kaleidoscope Kreator, I couldn’t wait to create a whole coloring book just for writers. No how-to-write tips or places to write, just pictures accompanied by quotes from other writers who have “been there, done that.” The pictures vary in complexity, because for me, there are times when the ones with tiny spaces to color are just too much work. And since coloring books are supposed to help relieve stress, all those fiddly spaces seemed a bit counter-productive on the relaxation side.

Working on a new book. Last year I put together a journal to help people get into the daily writing habit in 66 days, Write Every Day: a journal for building your Daily Writing Habit. I’ve just completed working on a similar book, Journal Every Day: Inspiration and Prompts to Build your Daily Journaling Habit, Journal cover png (2)to help people get into daily journaling in 66 days. I journal almost every day and have found it to be very beneficial to my creativity and also a great place to leave my troubles behind, or to make my to-do lists, or just to say ‘thank-you’ for the good things in my life. I’ll be uploading the journal today or tomorrow, and hope that it will be available at Amazon early next week. And, yes, it has some coloring pages, too.

Learning how to create an online course. I’m currently enrolled in Joseph Michael’s Easy Course Creation program. It started in earnest on Wednesday, but there were a few pre-course assignments, plus my brain has been focused on what kinds of courses to offer and who my audience might be. The course will be writing related, and if you think that there’s a gap out there where a writing course should be, please let me know.

Anyhow, that’s what I’ve been up to and that’s what distracted me from writing my first-day-of-the-month writing prompts, until this morning. Here you go:

WRITING PROMPTS

Choose one, some, or all of these words to write a story or poem:

a) wonder, snow, crystal, sky, glow, footprints, run
b) number, frame, sharp, cold, red, wire, slump
c) rise, platform, cries, thunder, stone, path, danger

Use one of these opening sentences to create a story:

a) “This is the last straw!”
b) Henry looked guilty.
c) Helen looked up from her reading and her book fell from her lap.
d) I’d always wondered what real fear felt like. I was sorry I found out.
e) Monday was supposed to be the worst day of the week. Today had it beat by a mile.
f) We all felt the cold before he entered the hall.
g) Breathing at this altitude was harder than I thought it would be.
h) “Are you sure he’s here?”

Try one of these titles to inspire a story or poem: Winter Chill, Runaway, Danger at Dawn, City Nights, Gone Wrong, Box of Dreams, Winner Take All, It Only Takes One, The Call, The Text Message Murders, When Winter Comes, Helen Goes West, Love and Apples

See if these lines of dialogue help you see a scene or story.

You guys are fighting over a book?
You don’t know what’s in it.

When do you think she’ll be done?
She finished an hour ago.
Then why isn’t she here yet?

I’m not ready to go.
Well, when will you be ready?
How about never.

But Chris is Henry’s best friend!
He didn’t behave like it this morning.

Don’t bother explaining it again. I’ll never get it.
But it could save your life.
That’s what you’re here for.
And what if I’m not here?

What would your character write in his/her journal in reply to these prompts?

a)   What annoyed me today.
b)   What made me laugh today.
c)    The news story/Facebook post that made me smile.
d)    How I feel about thunderstorms.
e)    Music that brings back memories.
f)     If I could live at any time in human history, it would be ________ because ….

Have fun with the better-late-than-never writing prompts, and I wish you lots of fun and every success with your writing projects!

 

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