Writing Prompts from 2008

Twenty Five Words for August

The object of the exercise is to write a story using as many of the words (or short phrases)as possible. Here are twenty-five words for August. Set your timer for thirty minutes and try to write a picture book or children’s short story. Remember to try and use as many of the words as possible:

Dragon Fly
Butter dish
Look at that, would you…
Cookie jar
Chocolate chip
Rocking chair
Fly fishing
Baby’s too cold
I’ll never do that again
I’m a vegan
That stinks
And another thing

Fantasy World Writing Prompt

Creating a believable fantasy world is one of the foundations to writing a compelling fantasy novel. If your world is not believable, it will not support the main character’s journey, nor will your story hold the reader’s interest.

One way to begin is to map the world, then create an atmosphere that will support your population. Of course, you also need to define the population – its characters and their language.

For this prompt, begin with a geographical area and an atmosphere. Give the world a fantasy name, and write a narrative paragraph that describes how the population lives in that atmosphere. Some suggestions to jump-start the process are below:

Urban City
A prison in an unincorporated part of your town
A theme park (but have your population live there)
A school
A train station
An airport

Controlled by man
Controlled by god-like creatures
Hot, arid, cannot support human life
Exactly like earth, except for one element (ex: no water, no wind…)

Ordinary Tasks Writing Prompt

The way your character performs a seemingly ordinary task can speak volumes about his motivation. It can help to root him into the world you’ve created, or show his emotional state in a critical moment. This prompt is designed to help develop your “show, don’t tell” skills.

For this exercise, select a task from the list below and write a short description of how one of your WIP characters might perform this task. (If you don’t have a WIP character, select one from the characters list.) Try to imagine how your character might act at a point of high emotional conflict in your story arc. What impact does the character’s emotional state have?

Ordinary Tasks:
Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Do math homework
Clean room
Clean the cat’s litter box
Set the table
Walk down the block to mail a letter

Character List:
An over dramatic boy named David
A fuzzy dog named Poof
A loud girl named Sid


Keep the Pen Moving Writing Prompt

This is a timed writing prompt where you keep your pen moving until time is called. The challenge is to start with the prompt and write a story from a male point-of-view. You can write for any age level you choose. Set your timer for 15 minutes and keep your pen moving until time is up.

Prompts: (select one)

She had her suitcase packed…
She opened her little pink purse and out fell a five-dollar bill…
Embarrassed, she covered her face with the napkin from her lap…
The dust swirled around her brand-new shoes as she stood next to the saloon door, waiting for Pa…