I’ve written several posts about dealing with writer’s block or the lack of inspiration. One way to get around that is through the use of writing prompts, those little slivers of ideas that provide oil to the rusty gears of the imagination. There are a number of sources on the internet that provide writing prompts and there are books devoted to them. I even found an app for my iPod Touch that generates writing prompts.
Some might feel a little squeamish about adopting someone else’s idea as their own but feel free to put your own twist to it. Liberal interpretation is definitely allowed. Think of a writing prompt as a seed of an idea that you nurture and fertilize until it has grown into something that you alone are responsible for.
So here’s the deal: below are ten prompts that I have collected or made up. Take one (or more), write a story (or stories) using 500 words or less (I’m not going to be counting but keep it close to 500 if you must go over), and share your story in the comments field. Read what others have written and leave constructive feedback for those who have shared their stories. Be sure to indicate which prompt you are writing to (not considered part of your word count). If there is nothing in the list below that excites you write 500 words or less beginning with: “I write because…”
- A woman needs a kidney transplant and finds out the person who is the perfect match is a man she despises.
- A man checks a book out of the library and finds a business card that had been used as a bookmark stuck inside. On the back of the card is a hand written woman’s name and phone number.
- The tooth fairy pays a visit but is taking more than teeth.
- Start a story with the words: “I’m pregnant.”
- A man buys a lottery ticket and that night he hits the $216 million jackpot. The next morning when he looks for the ticket to double check his numbers against the newspaper he can’t find it.
- You make it into the office only to discover that it’s one of those Federal holidays that no one remembers and your office is closed. Everyone thinks you are at work so what do you do with your own personal “Farris Bueller” day off?
- An attractive woman is pulled over for speeding and instead of giving her a ticket the cop gives her his phone number. How does the woman react?
- You pick up the morning newspaper off your driveway and see a report that your ex-spouse has been arrested for suspected murder.
- You are two subway stops away from your usual station and you are already running late for an important meeting. The man in the seat next to you suddenly slumps over onto your shoulder. When you push him off you realize he is dead. Do you alert the authorities or quietly change seats and hope you don’t get delayed any further?
- Write a story based on/inspired by a favorite song.
I hope that there is something here for everyone and that you will share your efforts in the comments section. Don’t be bashful, we’re all friends here. Just to start things off, I’ll go first…
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