Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #23

Hey, we made it to 2015! Woot woot!  I know its going to be a great year because New Year's day was the best first day of the year ever around here.  I got some work done on my novel rewrite in the morning, watched the Ducks annihilate the FSU Seminoles in the afternoon, and ended up having an impromptu party to boot.

But the party is over–the New Year's day party and the whole loooooong party of the holiday season. And it's time for prompts.  Oh wait, one more thing.  If you happen to live in Portland, come to my book signing next week.  It's at Rain or Shine coffeehouse on SE 60th and Division, across from Mt. Tabor and I'll be there with Tam Holland, who you might know from this post.  Another woot woot!  

Okay, prompts for real this time.  These are taken from my daily Tumblr blog, which I started on a whim last summer and has kept going all this time quite to my amazement.  Here's this week's selection:

#157 Was it the emotional turmoil of their parting? Or the overindulgence from the holidays?  Or sheer exhaustion?  Didn't matter because the end result was the same.  She took to her bed and could not be convinced to get up.

#158  The one thing she wanted more than anything was the one thing she couldn’t have.  What was it?

#159  And then she discovered the most amazing thing: that most often if she asked for what she wanted, she got it.

#160  Goodbye to all that.  What does your main character want to take with him into the new year?  What does he want to leave behind?

#161  A bright shiny new thing.  A bright shiny new year.  What will you (or your main character) do with it?

#162  And with the new year, came the cold that everyone had.  What does your character do when sick?  Carry on, gut it out, go to work, power through? Or take to her bed for days on end?

#163  Already it was old hat.  And she liked it that way.  The soothing habits of her routine enabled her to….

That's it!  That's all for now! Go write!

Oh–heehee, I forgot, one more thing–Go download my free prompt book here.  I will take you all the way through January in your writing.


Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #22

Here we are again, having survived (I hope) Christmas 2014.  Maybe you're like me and still a bit foggy from so much going on and, oh yeah, the sugar content of every single thing we eat this time of year.  Maybe, like me, you're feeling a bit disconnected from your writing.  If not, more power to you. What's your secret?  If so, here you go–my latest collection of writing prompts.

But first, I would like to let you know that you can get a ton more prompts (like over a hundred of them and counting) on my Tumblr blog.  AND, do not forget that you can download a free book of prompts over at Noisetrade.  (And read more about it here.)

Okay then.  Here we go:

#150 The best time of day is ____________, because ________________, duh.

#151  Only three days until Christmas and so much left to do.  But for her, it wasn’t last minute Christmas gifts and activities that she obsessed about it.  Rather, it was…..

 #152  Alone.  He had never liked it, but being alone at Christmas was the worst. Now, with just two days to go until the big day, he determined to change his situation.  The first thing he did was….

 #153  Silent night, holy night.  All is calm, all is bright.  Or is it?  What is going on in the dark of this holy eve?

 #154  Write about what is happening in the photo below from the penguin's point of view.



#155 The day after.  What will you do with that ugly dress your husband gave you?  How will you return it without hurting his feelings? 

#156 Her brain felt cloudy and vague.  Too many Christmas cookies. Too much wine. To make herself fell better, she….

 That's it!  The next prompt round-up will be in 2015.  Crazy, man.  In the meantime, I'd love to hear what you did on Christmas.  Was it good?  Fun? Any crazy stories to share?


Photo by Jackie. 


Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #21

Since I have you attention–big news!  You can download a whole book of prompts for free, free, free! I wrote the book for NoiseTrade, which is a really cool site.  I'll write more about it after Christmas, but for now, go check it out.  And don't forget that there are tons more prompts on my Tumblr blog, from whence the following came:

 #143 I lost (and found) these things this year: a necklace and a silver fork.  Put those words together with tape and bus and write a sentence.  Now use that sentence as a prompt.

#144 A man and a woman sit together at a holiday party.  Others are up dancing and chatting.  Suddenly the woman stands and throws her wine (red, of course) at the man.

What happened?  What did he say to her?  Are they husband and wife? Or coworkers? What did everyone else at the party do?

#145 I just read a novel in which the earth starts turning slower and slower and days and nights stretch to loooong lengths.  What would you (or your main character) do if you had an extra hour every day?

#146 Both gigs were pretty good, but overall he liked being an elf better than a Santa.

#147 Stuffed.  She had eaten way too many Christmas cookies at the party.  But she couldn’t drink alcohol any more, because, well, you know, and so inhaling cookies was the only way to deal with what happened.  Which was terrible.  It always was when…..

#148 Last night, after I drank two glasses of wine and ate a meat and cheese plate, I …. 

#149 The rain began softly at first, and then it came down harder and harder. Snow melted off the mountain and flowed into the river behind her house. The river became a raging torrent, creeping closer and closer to her beloved home.  Soon, it was time to evacuate.  She started packing boxes, but suddenly water started seeping beneath the doors.  She only had time to take one thing and flee.

What did she take? 

And now, just for fun, because it's Christmas, here's a bonus prompt in the form of a photo:

Trees-wreaths-christmas-439223-hWrite about what the scene evokes in your mind.  And enjoy!

Oh, P.S., I know this is a busy week but several people have asked me when I was going to write my "three words for the new year" post.  Look for it on Tuesday.

Photo is public domain.



Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #20

Here's the latest collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog.  And, as always, you can find more prompts right here on this very blog.

#136  Even as an adult she still got as excited was a kid at Christmas.  What she liked best about the season was …..

#137  She grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family and had never celebrated his birthday before.  So when her husband asked her what she wanted to do on his special day, she said….

#138  The morning after.  The morning after the big win, the big party, the goal accomplished, the mountain climbed, the book completed, the awards ceremony, the election.  How do you (or your character) feel?  What do you do next?

#139  When there’s a ton of work to be done, is your character a sprinter or a marathoner?  Does he work at it on a regular schedule, steadily finishing things?  Or does he do it in manic spurts, staying up all night to get things done?

#140  She did the crossword puzzle every morning with breakfast.  Does you main character like puzzles?  Games?  Or, like some, does she hate them?

#141  The lights went out and everything fell silent.  She was all alone in the dark.

#142  The train whistled as it pulled away from the city where she had fallen in love.  She sat by the window with her cheek pressed against the glass and watched until she could no longer see the station, or him, standing there waving.

That's it!  How's your writing going this holiday season?  Are you able to keep up with it, or is it all falling to s$%^ in the press of festive winter activities? 




Inventive Writing Post Round-up #19

Here's the latest collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog.  You will note that a couple are missing. That's because I was forgot so busy.  You can also find more here.

#131 "Oh God, I’m so overwhelmed, things are slipping through the cracks and I’m missing appointments," she said.

"Get yourself organized, then," he said, reasonably enough.

"But how?"

#132 Use the words ice, red, and sailboat in a sentence.  Then use that sentence as your prompt.

#133  Prince Harry just revealed he gets terribly nervous before speaking in public, no matter how big or small the crowd.  What does your protagonist fear? What makes her break out in a sweat just to think about doing?

 #134  He couldn’t believe how forgetful he was getting.  Losing his car keys was one thing, but forgetting how to drive home from work was quite another.  And then there was the time that….

#135  "All these Christmas parties are wearing me out," she sighed.  "Especially when they come out like the last one."

"What happened?"

"Well," she said, "first my date danced on the table with a lampshade on his head and then…."

 Is Christmas in full swing at your house?  What are your favorite Christmas traditions or activities?

Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #18

Here's the latest collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog.  Enjoy! And write!

#124 Music.  It touches us, thrills us, saddens or gladdens us.   For some, it is a pathway to a spiritual connection.  To others, a way to get lost in the moment.  What does it mean to your main character? What kind of music does he or she prefer?  How/when/where does he or she listen to it?

#125 The dark falls early these days.  Some people like the cozy, inwardness of early night.  Others hate it.  How does your character feel?  

#126 Outside, it was wet, cold and windy.  Inside it was warm and cozy.  She snuggled closer to her husband, gazing at him adoringly.  He looked down at her, his face very serious.  ”Honey, you’re not going to like this, but I have something to tell you.”

What did he say?  How did she react?

#127 Overwhelm.  Your main character has it, big time.  How does she or he react?  Does he throw a screaming fit?  Does she sit and stare out the window, too stressed to do anything? Or perhaps your MC is a master of coping.  Write it all down.

#128 In the United States, it is Thanksgiving Day.  Does your protagonist host family, attend a happy gathering, or sit home alone in his apartment?

#129 The way a character eats says a lot about her.  Does your main character overeat?  Eat too little?  Have a balanced attitude about food?  Does he eat lots of healthy vegetables or all junk food?

#130 The sky darkened, the wind howled, and the snow swirled all around.  And yet on and on he trudged.  Why?

Please leave a comment. What are you writing about? If you live in the States, did you have a good Thanksgiving? (And stay tuned–I've got another book giveaway coming on Monday.)

Inventive Writing Prompt Round-up #17

Here is the latest collection of prompts from my Tumblr page.  For reasons known only in the deep recesses of my subconscious this time around we focus on days of the week. Weird, I know.  Go figure.

#117  Sunday.  A day to attend church for many people, a day of rest for others. Some have regular family suppers, others devote the day to reading the Sunday Times.  What do you do?  Your character?

#118  Arrggh, its Monday.  How does your main character feel on this day? Does he or she love getting up and going back to work?  Or maybe she worked all weekend so this day feels no different than any other?  Or does he hate going back to the grind of the workweek?  

#119  "I love Tuesdays," she said.

"And why might that be?"

"Because they aren’t Mondays but still have a feeling of freshness to them."

What’s your favorite day of the week and why?

#120  Wednesday, Hump Day.  Does your character work at a job that make the week drag?  Or does she do something she loves so much the days fly by?

#121  Oh, Thursday! It’s a very purply kind of day, rich in expectation and promise for the weekend to come.  Good things happen on Thursdays, like Thanksgiving.  What’s your take on it?

#122 "Yay, it’s Friday," she said.

"I hate Fridays."

"How could you hate Fridays?"

"Easy.  It’s because, several years ago…."

#123  Saturday! I once knew an adult man who slept until noon every Saturday. What time does your protagonist rise on the weekends?  What about during the week? How does he or she sleep?  Is he a sound sleeper or an insomniac?  A night owl or a morning person?

 Leave a comment, please, because I love hearing from you.  What's your favorite day of the week?  I'll start.  Mine is Friday.  Why?  Because it is a work day (and I love my work) but it is sort of a slacker work day, when we don't have to take it all quite so seriously.  And there's the promise of the weekend to come!



Inventive Writing Post Round-up #16

Here's the latest collection of blog posts from my Tumblr blog!

#110  Use the words red, candle and chicken in a sentence.  Then use that sentence as a writing prompt.

#111  Stand up and look out the window.  Now write a sentence describing what you see.  Use that sentence as a prompt.

#112  You’ve just been called up to serve in the army for six months.  What will you miss the most when you are away from home?  Write about it in full, glorious, sensual detail.

#113 Off again—this time you’re headed back home.  What does home mean to you?  What do you find there you can’t find anywhere else?

#114  Call it religion or spirituality, call it a longing for something bigger than yourself. How does this manifest in you or your character’s life?  Do you/they ignore it or follow the call?

#115  Do you believe in luck?  Or would you call it something else?  How does it manifest in your character’s life?

#116  It's Saturday!  How does your main character's routine differ from the week days?  What does he or she like to do for fun?

There you go! How are you using prompts these days?

Inventive Writing Prompt Round-Up #15

The weekly collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog (and don't forget, there are tons more here.)

#103 Write about how your main character exercises.  Does she go to the gym? Is he a runner training for the marathon?  Does she talk about starting an exercise program but never quite get to it?

#104 "If I were queen of the world, I would decree that Mondays did not exist," she said.

"But then Tuesdays would become Mondays," he said.

She shook her head.  ”I don’t care.  It just wouldn’t be the same.”

What one thing would you change if you ruled the world?

#105 What magazines do you, or your main character, read regularly? Make a list.  Write what this list says about you.  If you don’t read magazines, write about that.

#106 What is your favorite thing about airplane travel?  Your least favorite?

#107 Write about light, or the lack of it.  Every setting has a particular kind of light—bright and sunny, soft and glowy, dark and gray.  We writers look at all aspects of setting, but often forget to notice one of the most basic—light.  

#108  When it was finally over, they….

#109  Write about a time when your body hurt.  What from?  Why?  How long did it last?

Now go forth and write! But first leave a comment–what's your most helpful writing tip?



Inventive Writing Post Round-up #14

Here is my weekly collection of prompts from my Tumblr blog.  You can also always find prompts here.

#96 Identify three turning points in your character’s life (or yours).  Look for “road not taken” times.  How did these experiences affect the person your character (or you) are today?

#97  "There are three things that scare me," she said.  "Spiders, clowns, and jack-o-lanterns."

"Why?" he asked.

"Because when I was a little girl…….."

#98  "Pie or cake, which do you prefer?" Mandy asked the dinner table.



One by one they went around the table and told which they preferred and why.  The best story was the one told about the time that….

#99 Write about the most recent time your character (or you) saw his mother. Doesn’t matter if it was years ago, or yesterday.  What does she look like? How do you feel about her? What happened during this visit?

#100 Never say never, because as soon as you do, the universe will slap you in the face.  What has your character said she would never do that she later ended up doing?

#101  Write about your best Halloween and your worst Halloween.  Do this for yourself—and your main character.

#102  All Soul’s Day.  Day of the Dead.  A day to honor one’s ancestors.  Who is the most influential of your ancestor?  The most colorful?  The most scandalous? The most fun?  The most famous?  The richest? The poorest? The happiest?

Write a little bit about each one and then select an ancestor to write more about.

 How is your writing going?