Writing 365

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Archive for the month “November, 2016”

Writing prompts

Okay, since I’m planning to write every day for 365 days (or more!) I realize I’m going to need prompts. And, honestly, most of my shorts or poems are probably going to be terrible. I wrote one already that I feel very strongly about and then decided it needed more time to percolate – along with a lot more editing.

So, in the spirit of finding prompts for really short pieces (and maybe a few longer ones), I am noting a bunch of writing prompts that I like below. I’ll be adding to them later on as I’m asking friends for additional prompts.

If you’d like to tell me what to write about during the next year – be sure to comment below. All prompts are welcome!

Here’s what I have so far:

1. Write a mystery – Written on 12/31/16

2. The weather

3. Food/cooking

4. You are a ghost

5. A pair of eyeglasses allows you to see alternate realities (description here)

6. Dialog prompt: “That, my friend, is not a dog.”

7. A pill that is supposed to cure something causes something terrible instead Written 12/4/16

8. Exploring how it feels to be a hoarder.

9. Story beginning “Three more days of this.”

10. A day in the life of a poor person who lives in a giant metal shack (request by my husband) Written 12/1/2016

11. You are leaving a Halloween party dressed as a very convincing monster. As you walk home, you run into a real monster who thinks you are one too. The monster greets you. (came from Pinterest)

12. A story inspired by a recent dream.

13. When the aliens came, we thought we were done for, that is, until the spirits of our ancestors awakened. (from Reddit)

14. Create a story about a conversation you’ve overheard.

15. What’s behind that closed door? – written 01/04/2017

16. The apocalypse has happened and you stumble upon a newly built basketball hoop. (request by my husband)

17. You get wealth and power from a witch in exchange for your firstborn. Years pass and you haven’t found “the one.” The witch decides to lend you a hand in dating.

18. Find a poem or story that inspires you. Rewrite in your own words.

19. He has kept his immortality a secret for thousands of years, but he’s having a hard time now that he’s traveling on a generation starship on a 2000 year voyage.

20. The phone rings. The voice on the other end says “We need you again” and hangs up. (came from Pinterest)

21. A child is learning how to use virtual reality to erase reality and replace it with whatever he or she wants.

22. You, a retired professional hitman, have just been woken up in the middle of the night by Death – and he/she has a job for you. (from Reddit)

23. You are one of the people who writes the scripts for dreams. You got the latest time slot and are sick of people waking up before they finish your masterpieces. (from Reddit)

24. On Purge Night part time employees get paid 50 times the hourly rate. You are a pizza delivery guy looking to make big bucks. (from Reddit) – written on 12/11/16

25. The bad guys won and the world was conquered by villain’s armies decades ago. You and your spouse are worried as you suspect your child may be suffering from Chosen Oneness or perhaps an acute case of Prophetic Heroism. (from Reddit)

26. A world where you can make yourself look however you want whenever you want, as if you were in a video game. (request by my husband)

27. A new planet is discovered and found to be in complete anarchy. Things are going pretty well… from the outside. (request by my husband)

28. A coming of age story where a jock was forced to be that way by his father. (request by my husband)

29. You are one of Aladdin’s attendants who was wished in existence for his parade. Now, after all of the fun is over, you have an existential crisis. (from Reddit)

30. Dialog prompt: “I love your dress.” “Thanks. My sister was buried in it. (from Reddit)

I have to give credit to several sources for some of the above writing prompts:

Okay cats and kittens! What other writing prompts do you want me to use?


Since I last posted, many people on Facebook have given me prompts. I am recording them here – I hope to get to them sooner rather than later:

31. Saucy (from Arlette H.) – written 12/12/16

32. Serenity (from Farrel L.) – written 12/2/2016

33. Adventure (from Heather Y.)

34. Under the stars (from Carolina L.) – written 1/3/2017

35. Teenagers (from Rachel F.)

36. Total freedom (from Shannon H.)

37. Noctilucent clouds (from Tina O.)

38. Why I hate clients (from Allen W.)

39. Walking casually into the room, he smiled and said “This isn’t the beginning, it is just the end,” and then disappeared. (from Mark W.)

40. Your father taught you a strange language when you were young. On your 18th birthday, you find out why. (from Holly R.)

41. Science fiction: Space race to a new, earthlike planet found only five light years away. The first country there claims the whole planet – set in the future. (from Carolina L.)

42. Gratitude (from Diana H.)

43. Healing a broken heart (from Dolores B.)

44. The rising moon flashed its siler rays off Noli’s (my Black Panther friend) head. I sat wonderinf it it was all worth it or not. (from Melanie V.G.)

45. “THE ROADS ARE ICY!” he screamed from his rocking chair at the hospital window. Outside it was a balmy 89 degrees. (Eva G.) – written on 12/7/2016

46. Millennial selfies (from Jason D.) – written on 1/1/17

Wow! I have some creative friends. I bet there will be more – but that’s plenty for now!

12/2 I found some more fun ideas courtesy of @MagicalRealismBot on Twitter. Let’s see what I can make of these!

47. A congressman sentences a swamp to death.

48. A rainbow whispers to a soldier: “I feel so enlightened.”

49. A Babylonian tsarina bans people from owning universes.

50. A fortune teller turns over a tarot card with a mustache on it. ‘Your destiny is to be eaten by a giant clam,’ she says to you.

51. The Aurora Borealis is on vacation in Ohio.

52. An astrologer waltzes with the Sun inside a marble city. – written 12/3/2016

53. A scientist is singing inside Venus.

54. A president wishes to murder winter.

55. One hundred scientists live together inside a giant circus tent.

56. Solve this mystery: A quantum physicist is found murdered in a labyrinth. Beside her is a grandfather clock and a wig.

57. A book collector is writing a history of Varanasi which describes a war against maternity clothing that took place in 3805 BC.

58. A snowman is elected mayor of Los Angeles.

59. In Jerusalem there is a famous ballet company of dancing elephants.

60. A countess sees a shark with a fireflies instead of teeth.

61. A 21-year-old congresswoman is building a house of mirrors that is filled with tomorrow.

62. An undertaker in New York State spends her lunch break stealing shooting stars.

63. An economist can move lakes with his mind.

64. In California there is a mansion which works as a sex worker.

65. A murderer possesses a unique skill: He can understand the language of cypress trees.

66. A mathematician in Kyoto wishes to substitute the world with a bunny.

67. A maharajah rebuilds Paris out of stars.

68. You wake up in a garbage dump. You can hear the faint sound of a horn.

69. An Edgar Allan Poe story in which the murderer turns out to be an ice cream van.

70. There is a supermarket in Africa that is infinitely large.


365 Writing Challenge

I’ve been spending the year slowly editing my book and working – but I haven’t spent very much time doing spur of the moment writing. So, I’ve decided as a new year’s resolution to start writing every single day for a year. I may just write a quick poem or it might be a short story. Either way, I’ll be posting the results of my efforts right here.

I hope this will both get my creative juices going once again – and help me face down my worry that I’m not good enough.  I hope you follow my journey, beginning December 1st!



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