WRITING PROMPTS FOR FEBRUARY 2017

Writing Prompts for February 2017 - opening sentences, random words, dialogue snippets, titles

Welcome February! One more month closer to spring! This last month has been unrelentingly cloudy, and I’m more than ready for some sunny days. A little sunshine can go a long way to cheer up a cold, snowy day. So can escaping into a new story—either one you are reading or one you are writing.

I love finding a new author who has already published a number of books because then I don’t have to wait any time at all to enjoy the entire series. I read all of Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce mysteries around this time last year. Now I’m impatiently waiting for the next one. Right now, I’m reading the Ruth Galloway mysteries by Elly Griffiths and am enjoying them very much—three down, six to go, and a new one due soon!

If writing a new story is your way to escape, here are some writing prompts to keep you busy in February.

Use one, some, or all of the words in one of these lists to write a story or poem.

  • Candle, frame, snow, path, wave, match
  • Lake, pine cone, laugh, car, memory, rain
  • Door, lock, late, night, empty, cold, silver
  • Light, distant, melody, gem, box, ice, glint.

Here are some opening sentences for you to try.

  • Who ate all the chocolate?
  • I couldn’t understand what anyone was saying.
  • The light hurt my eyes.
  • Power’s out!
  • I hoped it wasn’t too late.
  • We heard the door creak, then silence.
  • When there’s a bat in the house, I don’t do brave.
  • Though my family would like to think so, a nice cup of tea wasn’t going to be any help in this situation.
  • I hadn’t been this afraid of being caught since I stole a pack of matches when I was six.

Here are some titles that might suggest a story or two.

Jenny’s Secret, The Circle, Moon Dragon, Closing Day, The Magic Crow, She’s Back, The Last Letter, The Blue Vase, Damian’s Promise, The New House

Here are some snippets of dialogue that might suggest a scene or a story.

  • I thought you said we’d be safe here.
  • That’s what I said.
  • So you were wrong.
  • Apparently.
  • I saw you take that when Helen wasn’t looking.
  • She’ll never miss it.
  • She will eventually and then what?
  • Henry told me to be here at 8 ‘clock.
  • So?
  • So where are the others?
  • I don’t think there are any others.
  • I can’t believe that Helen could lie like that.
  • She’s had lots of practice.
  • But it’s wrong.
  • You live her life for a day and then say that.

Hope you all have a writerly February!

Writing Prompts for December 2016

Writing Prompts for December 2016

I always enjoy the approach to the holidays. Decorating the house, planning meals, and even all the long-overdue cleaning and organizing are done with a lighter heart. It’s a musical time for us, too. My choir has a concert, my son’s university ensemble has a concert, and we all attend the local symphony’s holiday concert, joining my brother-in-law’s family for dinner afterwards. I hope that you and yours enjoy times filled with peace, love, and happiness in the coming weeks and that these feelings follow you through 2017.

Though your writing time may be limited in December, I encourage you to take even 10 minutes out of your day to put a few words on the page. Typing at 25 words per minute would fill a double-spaced page. Think of how those pages could add up over the month, and how much further ahead you will be starting 2017.

If you need some writing inspiration or fresh ideas, here are your writing prompts for December. Remember that you can change names and gender to suit the story you want to write.

Opening Sentences – Start a story with one of the following sentences. You could use the sentence to end the story, too.

Wait! Don’t open that!
The fire was too small to warm the room.
Henry and I had an agreement—until yesterday.
The branches of the bare trees clattered overhead.
Making a wish as you blow out your birthday candles isn’t just for kids.
Helen should have known better.
Secrets should be kept secret.
I don’t have a cat anymore, so what was coughing and hacking in my kitchen?

Random Words – Choose a group of words from the following list, and using one, some, or all of the words in the group, write a story or poem.

Gate, pillar, robe, wonder, blue, cry, gold
green, hills, wander, home, far, cold, rain
run, danger, lost, captain, white, strange
window, tense, sneer, answer, leave, yellow

Possible Story Titles

Yesterday’s Man, The Gold Tower, Tree People, The Leaving, Ghosts at Summer Camp, Strangers at First, Ethan’s Mountain, The Blue Sword, The Kameron Curse, The Second Gift.

Dialogue – Use one of these dialogue excerpts and imagine the story around it.

Why do we have to travel at night?
It’s safer.
It’s also cold.

I haven’t seen you with Henry lately.
Oh, we’re old news.
But I thought you were getting married.
Tell that to Henry’s father.

Are you sure we can trust Helen?
I don’t see that we have a lot of options.
But, I told you—she’s lied before.
So have you.

I don’t like the sound of that.
Me neither, but it’s too soon to worry the others.

You found something.
No.
Show it to me.
No.

Hope you have a wonderful, writerly December!

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 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.

Writing Prompts for November 2015

If you’re starting NaNoWriMo today, I wish you every success. I’ve drafted a bit of a plan using tips from this extremely helpful blog: 6 Tasks You’ll Love Yourself for Checking Off Your NaNo Pre-Writing List. I know I’ll be going back to it as I work through my story. I’m fully prepared for my final NaNo word count to be nowhere near the 50,000 words of a winning NaNo novel. My life (and a recently acquired freelance contract) are going to make that impossible, so, if I can cobble together a detailed novel draft this month, I’ll be extremely happy.

What are your plans for the month? Are you writing? Are you preparing for Thanksgiving? Are you glued to the World Series or football or curling or …? Whatever you are up to this month, I hope you have a creative 30 days and lots of good times with family and friends.

To keep your creative side ticking, here are the writing prompts for the month.

  1. Use these random words to create a story or poem:
  • Cold, grey, mark, trail, storm, silver
  • Frame, glass, pen, square, white, words
  • Card, circle, phone call, strong, blue, why
  • Fire, wind, photo, black, strange, wall
  1. See where these opening lines might take you:
  • Don’t ask about my day.
  • Henry pulled goggles over his eyes and waited for the signal.
  • They say never start a story with the setting, but I think that, if you think you’re going to drown in it, it’s as good a place as any to start.
  • Helen/Henry woke to the sound of yells and crashing swords.
  • I think that magic should only happen on stage, or on a screen, and a safe distance from me, but apparently, not today.
  • Helen handed the flowers back to the delivery man. “Give them to someone else,” she said and closed the door.
  • The woman in the photo on the gallery wall looked just like my mom, except the photo was taken in Paris twenty-five years before my mother was born.
  1. Try one of these titles and see what story or poem appears:

Agent Fear, The Crystal Mountain, Summer Storm, The Prisoner, What Next?, Babies and Blue Jeans, Jake Plays the Blues, No Limit, Robot’s Curse, The Island

  1. What scenes do these groups of dialogue lines suggest?

I’m sending you to New York.
Why?
I thought it was about time you met your mother.

That will be $200.
For this?
For that. Plus my guarantee that it will always do your bidding.

I don’t know why you put up with Henry. You hardly know him.
He’s not so bad.
Why don’t you just dump him?
I can’t until I can explain that he’s my brother.

Put the box on the table over there.
Okay.
Now open in.
What are you afraid of—a bomb or something?

It’s too dark. I can’t see.
Let me help.
How did you do that?

  1. What’s your character’s secret? What is the one thing that he or she never wants anyone to find out?
  2. If your character is just ticking along in your story, play “what if” for 10 minutes and come up with as many things as possible that could make your character’s life a lot harder right now. A broken leg? Abduction by an alien? A meeting with an old flame or an old enemy? Play “what if” until you find something that ups the ante for your character and adds some more suspense to your story.

September 2015 Writing Prompts and Vacation Reflections

2015-08-16 20.55.29Well, I’m back from a lovely vacation and immersed in deadlines, contracts and school prep. That lovely vacation vibe is sliding away far too quickly, but this year, I’ve decided to do something about it. I’ve thought about the things I enjoy about vacations and how I can fit them into the days and weeks ahead to give myself a necessary break from the stresses that start September 1st and last for the rest of the semester. It’s not that I don’t like what I do, but I tend to charge at things head down without taking time to feed the other things that are important to me. My language becomes all about the “have-tos”, and this time, I’m determined that include in my life moments that recharge my batteries and my creativity.

This year has been incredibly productive with 11 new books published (more about that later), so I know that I can get a lot done when I have to. (There are those words again!) But I also took time this summer for other things, like watching part of an old movie in the middle of the day, or reading, or meeting friends for coffee, or sometimes, just having a nap. And the work got done. I’m learning to be more productive during ‘work time’ and learned that walking away from it all for a while is okay.

What changed was me deciding that I didn’t have to wait to take a break until I’d earned it. That meant that a break could only happen at the end of the day when everything was checked off the to-do list. That’s not when I needed the break, which was clear from the number of Facebook checks, games of solitaire I played, and cups of tea that I made—all of which were telling me to walk away from the screen for a decent period of time and regroup. If I walked away for an hour, that hour was probably less time away from the work than I spent frittering with other distractions. On the days that I took a real break, my productivity was better and my spirits were better, too.

So, that’s my lesson learned this year. I’ll keep you posted on my success in continuing this strategy through the next semester. What have you learned about staying energized while working? Do you take long breaks or a series of short ones? Do you give yourself rewards for your accomplishments? How do you fit in exercise? (That’s my next challenge!)

Slide1The two writing prompts journals that I mentioned in my last post are now available at Amazon, and will eventually be out and about at Barnes & Noble and Chapter/Indigo. Each journal contains the complete text of the book it was derived from plus over 100 lined pages so you can play with the writing prompts and suggestions in the books. The last book of my Better Business Communication series also saw the light of day last week, too. It’s available as an ebook only.

Now, to keep you writing for the next month, here are your writing prompts:

  1. Use one, some or all of the words in these groups to write a story or poem.

Sign, grey, fog, horizon, posts, sky

Clear, field, inside, tall, burn, patch

  1. Here are some opening lines to try.
  • The swish of the wind turbine’s blades filled the night.
  • A line of scraggy pines marked the path.
  • I didn’t recognize the footsteps in the hall.
  • If anyone needed a guardian angel right now, it was me.
  • Henry threw the newspaper on the floor and reached for the phone.
  • Henry swore this would be the last time.
  • Helen was late again.
  1. Maybe one of these titles will inspire a story or poem:

The Mist, Dear Diary, A Light in the Window, The house on Planet X, Bad Blood, Captains Outrageous, Fire in the Heart, Death on Page One.

  1. What scenes can you imagine taking place before and during these lines of dialogue?

I told you I didn’t do it.

But can you prove it?

 

Look  behind you.

Seriously? You expect me to fall for that old trick?

Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

The wind is changing.

Yes. I can smell it now.

Let’s go.

 

But I thought you left Henry in charge.

He thinks I did.

 

Something’s the matter.

How can you tell?

Helen’s quiet.

 

Happy Writing!

Writing Prompts for August, 2015

Like a good Canadian, I’ll begin with the weather. Wow, has it been  hot!

And now for the writing.

I’ve been working on a couple of things: one, a journal with writing prompts to guide writers toward a daily writing habit (draft cover below); and two, the last of my business communications books focusing on improving grammar and writing skills. They are both at the ‘nearly there’ stage, so fingers crossed they’re both on Amazon by the end of next week.

I’ve had a good think about my writing. I realized that in my head I’ve been splitting my writing into two categories—non-fiction and joywriting (fiction.) I believed that I had to get the non-fiction finished in order to reward myself with the fiction, as if one was work and the other was pleasure. Well, that thinking was just plain wrong.

I get a lot of joy out of writing and publishing non-fiction. I love that what I do helps people learn to write, or get inspired to write, or helps them become better communicators, or saves teachers from reinventing the wheel when  they have to teach Shakespeare for the first time. So, since this all makes me happy, it is now officially joywriting, too. (Okay, well, sometimes it takes me longer than most to see the light, but at least, I finally made it.)

I hope that August’s writing prompts help you find some joywriting, too.

draft cover for journal

1. Pick one of these groups of random words and use one, some or all of the words in a story or poem.

  • Crown, red, stone, door, blade
  • Flower, wall, blue, eyes, shell
  • Wind, rustle, footsteps, black, shelter

2. Here are some opening sentences to try.

  • The town was shrouded in silence
  • Mary lied.
  • Medicine bottles cluttered the bedside table.
  • Hank loved football—and murder.
  • For a secret code it was pretty lame, but I got the message.
  • The pool was inviting.

3. Maybe one of these titles will inspire a story: Mystery on the Menu, Harry and the Bear, The Mage’s Promise, Half Love, Day’s End, An Ocean View, Yesterday Again, The Convertible

4. Can you imagine a scene to go with one of these short dialogue excerpts?

  • That’s the last one.
  • Are you sure?
  • No, but I sure am hoping.

 

  • Are you sure that belongs to Harry?
  • Yes, I’d know that blood anywhere.

 

  • I don’t like flying.
  • It’s a bit too late to decide that.
  • I don’t like jumping either.
  • Also, too late.

 

  • I didn’t know that she liked cats.
  • Is that a problem?
  • Yes. No. Well, maybe.

 

  • Is Harry home?
  • No,
  • Can you tell me where I can reach him?
  • I can, but I won’t.

5. Where would be your favourite place to sleep—your own bed, a four-poster in a Scottish castle, under the starts, on a ship sailing to a special destination, you choose? Why did you choose this location? Answer this question for your character.

6. NaNoWriMo starts in three months. Are you planning to sign up? It’s never too soon to start thinking, planning, and researching for your writing marathon. Set up a file, buy a new journal, grab some paper and think about the kind of story you want to live with for those crazy 30 days in November. I’m signing up this year, so I’d better start following my own advice. Onward!

Happy Writing!

 

 

Writing Prompts for March 2015

A little spring for a snowy March day.March is coming in like a lamb here—a very cold lamb, but a lamb. And I’m grateful. After a February of very cold temperatures, way too much snow, a broken circuit breaker, a leaking pipe, and a furnace replacement, I’m ready for a change. Here’s my personal public service announcement: Please install a carbon monoxide monitor if you haven’t already. If ours hadn’t gone off when it did at about 8 o’clock in the evening, and we’d gone to bed without knowing about the leak, we might not have woken up the next morning. A chilling thought.

I’ve tried to keep snow and wintery thoughts out of the writing prompts for March. Hope you enjoy them and have a creative month ahead.

1. Use one, some, or all of the following words in a story or poem:

  • Key, glass, red, petal, end, call
  • Paper, control, gold, drop, glow

2. Here are some opening sentences for you to try:

  • Low battery. Exactly the two words I didn’t want to see right now.
  • After sitting at the same desk for three years, I figured I was beyond seeing anything new. I was wrong.
  • Henry died two years ago, but I saw him for the first time today.
  • “What do you mean, you’re out of lemons?”
  • Unlike Disneyland, my hometown was not the happiest place on earth.
  • A day at the mall. I’d agreed to spend a day at the mall. An hour was my usual limit.
  • The voice on the phone was warm and convincing.
  • The flames had nearly reached the stables.

3. Here are some possible story or poem titles:

Turning the Corner, The Blue Stone, Wind and Weather, Death at the Races, Framed, Table for Three, How to Stop a Killer, Spring and Violet, Street Corner

4. See if you can write a scene for these lines of dialogue:

  •  I just heard from Henry.
  • And?
  • He’s not coming.
  • Why?
  • He said you’d know.

 

  • I can’t believe how hot it is.
  • You chose this place for our vacation.
  • Yeah, when I thought they’d have air conditioning.

 

  • Have you seen Henry?
  • No. Why?
  • He should be here by now.

 

  • Your secret is safe here, my lord.
  • And why should I believe you?
  • Because you are still alive.

 

5. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you finally choose that career or are you still secretly wishing for that childhood dream to be real? Why or why nor? Answer the same questions for your characters.

6. What was your favourite piece of clothing when you were a child? A special sweater make by grandma, a t-shirt with a favourite TV or movie character, a shirt from you favourite team? Describe the garment and how you felt wearing it. Do the same for your characters.

Writing Prompts for December 2014

Summer Memory
Summer Memory

I know that I’m a day late, but … well, November seems like such an innocuous month and then, kapow, there’s no time for anything–and I celebrated Thanksgiving in October! Anyhow, here’s hoping I can stay on track a little better now. I hope those of you south of my border had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend and that you’ve all been able to squeeze in some good times with friends and family.

Once school is out at the end of next week, I will definitely be hunkering down in front of the fire with some much-needed journal time. I find that writing with pen or pencil on paper really helps my creativity, and I have a lot of projects waiting for my attention right now. I write for other people on my computer, and for me in my journal. Do you find that changing your writing tools makes a difference to your output?

Here are the last writing prompts for 2014. Have fun and I hope you can find some creative time in the busy holidays ahead.

1. Use one, some, or all of the following words in a story or poem

  • smart phone, cup, nail, sky, bend, yellow
  • envelope, bowl, mist, date, wind, light

2. See if one of the following titles suggests a story to you: The Black Castle, Blue Eyes,  Dream Keeper, Once Upon a Crime, On File, An Elf’s Life, Christmas Love, Holiday Harry, The Next Morning.

3. Here are some opening lines for you to try:

  • You can’t be late.
  • The screen went black.
  • Joe always wanted to know what his father looked like.
  • There are times when it just doesn’t pay to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Sir, there are only enough supplies to last for three more days.
  • Explain to me again why it was a good idea to volunteer for this.
  • No one expected to hear a noise from underneath the stairs.

4. What scene can you imagine from these lines of dialogue?

  • This came in the mail for you.
  • Fine. Just leave it there.
  • Aren’t you going to open it?
  • Look at the return address.
  • Henry, did you hear what I said?
  • Sadly, yes.
  • So what are you going to do about it?
  • Absolutely nothing.
  • Hey, look at this!
  • What is it?
  • Dangerous.
  •  Mike, what are you doing here?
  • Thanks for making me feel so welcome.
  • I’m glad you didn’t think I was being too subtle.
  • You’re hiding something. Show me.
  • Here.
  • Oh.
  • Now what do we do?

5. Take some time this month to get to know your characters better. Chat with them over coffee (while no one is around of course) and find out what they’re thinking. Have you been giving them too much trouble, or not enough? What secret to they have that you didn’t know about. Ask your characters the ten Bernard Pivot questions that James Lipton asks his guests on the Actor’s Studio. Think about their answers. What have you learned about your characters that you didn’t know before? For fun, ask yourself the questions, too!

  • What is your favorite word?
  • What is your least favorite word?
  • What turns you on?
  • What turns you off?
  • What is your favorite curse word?
  • What sound or noise do you love?
  • What sound or noise do you hate?
  • What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  • What profession would you not like to do?
  • If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

If you’re looking for gifts for your teen or pre-teen, please check out my books page.

 

 

 

October 2014 Writing Prompts

20131013_135739Welcome to October! We’ve just finished nearly two weeks of perfect summer weather, but yesterday the rains came and today we’re facing cold winds and cloudy skies–and the furnace is on! I’m usually right on time with my writing prompts, but I’ve been laid low by the back-to-school cold/cough/flu, and lost track of time catching up, and frankly, sleeping whenever I could. Hope you and yours are having a healthy fall.

Here are the new prompts for October.

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

  • Clouds, rope, splash, branch, jar, grey
  • Car, pen, lighthouse, trail, fence, never

2. Try one of these opening sentences to start your story.

  • Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning.
  • Where are the pumpkins?
  • The dark figure lurched through the door.
  • This was one of those mornings when I should have stayed in bed.
  • The wind dragged the dead branches against the window.
  • My bike jerked wildly toward the curb. Flat tire.
  • Unlike my sister, I think that two kittens are two too many.

3. See if one of these titles inspire a story: Bubble Trouble, The Old Cottage Mystery, Ghosts at Lunchtime, Storm Warning, Frozen Dreams, Running, Hiding Mandy, Crushed, Clean Sweep

4. Write a scene to go with these lines of dialogue.

  • Henry is going to be there.
  • What difference does that make?
  • Henry always wants to be the boss.
  • Then we need to make sure he doesn’t get what he wants.

 

  • I can’t go.
  • But you promised!
  • I have to babysit.
  • Then I’ll just go on my own.
  • You can’t. It’s too dangerous.

 

  • Did you hear that noise?
  • Yeah. So what?
  • I’ve heard it before. We’d better hide. Now.

 

  • Where did Mike get all that money?
  • That’s none of our business.
  • It is my business. My sister’s wallet went missing yesterday.

 

5. What do you like best about autumn? Hallowe’en? Colourful trees? Back to school? Football season starting? Baseball season ending? In Canada, Thanksgiving? Write about the things that you like about this season. Does the character in your story like autumn? What does he or she like the most? Write about the things that you and your character dislike, too.

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