Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Writing Prompts from Writer's Digest

Writing Prompt

The Stranger
You're walking home from work one night, and you're taking shortcuts through a labyrinth of dark city alleyways to meet someone on time. Suddenly, a stranger parts the shadows in front of you, comes close and asks you to hold out your palm. You oblige.

Writing Prompts from Writer’s Digest – Suggestion to write scenes in 500 words or less Prompts are available to inspire you to write. Write 500 words or write a paragraph. Who knows? You might get inspired to expand a piece.

You and a friend break into your neighborhood swim club late one night to go for an after-hours dip. While splashing around in the pool, you go into shock when a dead body floats to the top. Worse yet—it's someone you know. Write this scene.

You've accidentally dialed the wrong phone number, but the person who answers sounds familiar. Immediately he/she recognizes you, but because made the call you're too embarrassed to ask who it is. Using only dialogue, figure out who the person is.

Write about a heated argument you had with your parents (real or fictitious).

You roll through your favorite fast-food drive-thru, order your usual and wait for the cashier to repeat it back to you. Only, he doesn't repeat it. Instead, through the speaker, you hear a very unsettling conversation.

You and a friend break into your neighborhood swim club late one night to go for an after-hours dip. While splashing around in the pool, you go into shock when a dead body floats to the top. Worse yet—it's someone you know. Write this scene.

You head into the bathroom at work, walk into a stall and close the door. Moments later, as you leave the stall, you notice two people standing there and there's one major problem: They are of the opposite sex. On the spot, you make up an excuse as to why you are in their bathroom.

Poking fun at you, a relative gives you a dubious award at a family picnic ("Worst Horseshoe Player," "Best Beer Holder," etc.). In a twist, you accept the award and give a short speech. Write this scene.

M&M Candies "Melt in your mouth, not in your hands." Miller Lite "Tastes great, less filling." Describe yourself (or your writing) in ten words or fewer.

You and your spouse welcome a beautiful baby into your lives and, after going round and round on names, you choose one that's very unusual. Write a scene where you announce the name to your family. Include their reaction and your explanation for choosing such an odd name.

Your favorite newsletter editor Brian A. Klems hosted a 4th of July party for the WD staff, forum members and newsletter loyalists. It was all fun and games until one guest got a little out of control and broke Brian's favorite possession. (What possession? The more creative/silly your answer, the better). Write this scene.

You forgot to make your bed this morning and your mom is on the prowl, ready to hand out punishment. In an effort to avoid grounding, make up an excuse (no matter how absurd) as to why you were unable to make your bed.

Write about someone you envy. Start your story with, "I wish I didn't envy (fill in the blank) so much, but I can't help it."

When you were little, you could swear there was a monster under your bed--but no one believed you. On the eve of your 30th birthday, you hear noises coming from under your bed once again. The monster is back and has an important message to deliver to you.

You find out you are highly allergic to something you love. Do you give it up (no matter how hard it is) or not (and deal with the consequences of the allergy)?

Your neighbor has taken in an unusual pet and it does something unpleasant to your house/yard. Confront your neighbor.

You wake up to the smell of sizzling French toast. You have to have some, but it's coming from your neighbor's house and the two of you aren't on speaking terms. How do you get the French toast?

If you could spend your birthday doing anything you wanted, what would it be and why?

You've recently purchased a new house. Upon your first full night there, you begin to hear noises but think nothing of it—until you see something that convinces you the house is haunted.

If you could morph into anyone (alive, dead, fictional, etc.), who would it be and why?

Sum up your writing career in one sentence.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Write a fond memory describing a time when you played with that toy.

Write about a ridiculous competition you start with a friend (e.g., a mustache-growing competition, longest-fingernail challenge, etc.).

After years of handing out dyed eggs, the Easter Bunny is in search of a new gift to give to kids. You're a pitchman for a company who's hoping to land the Easter Bunny's account. What's your product and your pitch?

Your friend tells you he can pick up any girl at the bar, no matter what he says. You bet him $100 he can't. Create the world's worst pick up line and send your friend off into the crowd. What happens?

You drank a little too much green beer on St. Patrick's Day and can't remember the night. A friend calls to check up on you and fills you in on what happened—and why she has your pants.

Rewrite a nursery rhyme (Three Blind Mice, Jack and Jill, etc.) from a character's point of view.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

Write a 26-line poem using all the letters of the alphabet, where the first line starts with the letter "A," the second "B," the third "C," etc., culminating with the final line starting with "Z."

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine's Day—the one whom you often call "The One That Got Away." What happens?

What was the first CD (or record or cassette) you ever purchased? Write about the way that particular album made you feel then. Write about how it makes you feel now.

You were recently laid off. Instead of moping around, you've viewed it as a chance to start fresh. Pick a new career and write about your first day on the job.

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