December 2013 Writing Prompts

New JournalNovember just flew by, and I’m sure December will, too. I’m working on a big freelance gig right now, and there’s the possibility of another project for a children’s publisher before the month is over–lots to keep me busy! I’m determined to find time for joywriting, too, in amongst all the other commitments, though, believe me, I’m not aiming for a high word count. I have a book idea that I’d like to plot out to see if it’s worth pursuing, and I want to go back to journaling every day. That’s my limit.

I hope you find some ways to stay connected to your writing through the holidays. It’s a tough slog getting reacquainted with those writing muscles after they’ve been allowed to be lazy for a long time–and, trust me, I speak from considerable, sad experience. If you need some inspiration to help you fill a journal page this month, maybe some of the following writing prompts will help.

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

  • holiday, red, flash, tin, tremor, find
  • salt, light, hand, turn, cover, water
  • bag, handle, glass, date, black, walk

2. What is your character’s favourite holiday movie? When and where was your character the first time he or she saw it? Who was your character with? Does the memory make your character happy or sad? Why?

3. See if you can imagine a story to go with one of these titles? Behind the Curtain, Red Mittens, The Centre Closes, Mr. Snow, Dead on Time, The Last Photograph

4. Imagine what might be happening before, during and after these lines of dialogue.

  • Where is it?
  • I left it at school.
  • Then you can’t come with us.
  • We’re done here
  • But we haven’t —
  • I said, we’re done.
  • Have you heard from Gregor?
  • No. We’ve not heard from him for five days?
  • Then, there’s no news of the battle either?
  • No.

5. See if some of these opening lines suggest a story.

  1. “No. You unwrap your present first.”
  2. I yanked out my earbuds. That noise had to be a scream.
  3. Margot always ate her vegetables first.
  4. The smell of smoke lingered long after the blaze had died.
  5. I huddled in the stern as the sea slammed the little boat.
  6. Why was her floor covered in broken glass?

Hope you have a creative and happy month ahead!

Writing Prompts for May 2013

Last year's irises.
Last year’s irises.

It’s been a fun month of April. I wrote every day, which was good, and I got  a good start on my sequel to a children’s fantasy that I’m currently publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing. More about that very soon.

What has also been fun is to check my website and find out that I’ve been getting visitors from South Korea who have been searching for me using the title of the book I wrote for the schools there. I had so much fun writing Sherlock Holmes and the Orphanage Mystery, and it has been very cool to know that students are actually reading my book and then checking in to my website. So ‘Hi guys. I hope you’re enjoying the book!”

And since it’s May 1st, here are your writing prompts for the month. Hope you have a creative May!

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

  • hill, bloom, light, road, branch, blue
  • box, cry, cap, bench, ring, lake

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

  • No matter when sunrise is, it’s too early.
  • I really hoped that was lightning.
  • Bill hated coming second.
  • “I don’t need any help.”
  • It wouldn’t be long now.
  • Lex couldn’t grip the sword a moment longer.

3. Try using one of these dialogue excerpts in a scene.

  • This is important.
  • Only to you
  • That’s not true. Both our lives depend on it.
  • Can’t you sit still?
  • The ground is wet.
  • Okay, you can get wet or you can find dry ground and risk being seen.
  • Oh no, that’s just not fair.
  • What’s not fair?
  • On top of everything else, it’s snowing!
  • Leave it on the desk.
  • Leave what?
  • The memory card that’s in your pocket.

4. Can you think of a story for one of these titles?

Disc Life, Grey Area, Left of Centre, Table for Three, In Danger, River View, Never Alone

5. Here are some “may”-themed song titles and expressions that might inspire a story:

Mayflower, Mayberry, First of May, May You Never, Lusty Month of May, Maggie May, May the Circle Remain Unbroken, Come What May, You May be Right, I may or may not, May the road rise up to meet you, Mother may I? I wish I may. I wish I might …

Writing Prompts for January 2013

Kitchener bus station in December rain
Kitchener bus station in December rain

Here are some writing prompts to give you a creative start to the new year.

1. Use these song titles to inspire a story or poem: What’s New, New Sensation, New World in the Morning, All Those Years Ago, Year of the Cat, 2000 Light Years from Home, Last Year’s Man, Reelin’ in the Years.

2. Here are some opening lines you might try.

  • “I’d wish you a Happy New Year, but I have a feeling it would be a little inappropriate at a murder scene.”
  • Jasmine held the small shell, looking at it closely for a moment before putting it carefully in her pocket.
  • The icy rain clattered on the windows like an endless chorus line of rhythm-challenged tap dancers.
  • Winslow put down his pen and read the note one last time.
  • Eyes that green were definitely dangerous.
  • Mike’s Saloon was usually closed in the morning.

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

  • cheer, light, shadow, photograph, branch, water
  • paper, glass, sand, flight, scent, mirror, bloom

4. See if one of these titles sparks a story: Close By, Amanda’s Wish, Consolation Prize, Run It By, Close Quarters, Light the Way, Last Candle, Jewel Box Mystery, Footprints in Snow, Quinn’s Destiny.

5. Have you ever wished you could travel back in time in your own life? What event would you love to relive? What would you wish you could do over? How are you going to make this new year one that you want to live over again?

I wish you all a creative, prosperous and healthy 2013! Happy Writing!

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