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Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Friday, January 12, 2018


This method will give you the barest nugget of an idea and it will be up to you to really fill it out to its greatest potential. But I find I often do my best creative work under these very conditions. Select a noun. You can pick one out you like or find some random method of producing one. For instance, School or Serial-Killer. Then imagine there is a blank either before or after the noun and fill it. It’s sort of like playing the old television game show . . . Match Game.

Example: [Blank] School or Serial Killer [Blank] can turn into Bully School and Serial-Killer Accountant. The more bizarre the combination the better the odds of coming up with a truly original storyline. Now all you have to do is create a story around it.

Bubba’s School for Underprivileged Bullies -

It isn’t Chuck’s fault that he’s bigger and stronger than everyone else. Or that he sometimes accidentally knocks over the other students while he’s daydreaming about becoming the first planetary explorer. So he was happy when his parents enrolled him in the strangely-named Bubba’s School for Underprivileged Bullies. But that all changes when he finds out he’s the smallest kid in the school and that most of the other children act in a decidedly alien manner. He’s forced to form an alliance with the most famous bully in the entire state in order to escape from the school. Chuck isn’t sure which is worse . . . an alien invasion of Earth or spending time with Darlene Pimpleton.



Thursday, December 14, 2017

            PROMPT 44 – STORY ROULETTE 

            Select or randomly pull two character labels, like cowboy and a college professor. Then select or randomly pull an issue that these two characters will clash with one another about. For example: an old cowboy and spinster kinder-garden teacher clash over the issue of how a child should be raised. Now put all that together to create a story.

            Here are two lists to get you started:

            Character Types                                               Issue

1. Soldier                                                                     1. Baking the perfect cake
2. Busy CEO                                                                2. Faith
3. Stay-At-Home Mom                                                3. Who gets the last seat to safety
4. Lawyer                                                                     4. Discovery of a dead body
5. Waitress                                                                   5. A monster among us
6. Homeless Man/Woman                                            6. Ownership of a dog that is found

* For even more fun, roll a die for random selection of characters and the topic.

Example: I had my son roll a die three times and generated the numbers 1, 3, and 6 – in that order. Using the chart, that gives me a soldier, a stay-at-home mom, and ownership of a dog.

See Spot Stay -

When the family pet runs away, a young stay-at-home mother clashes with a homeless vet over the ownership of the dog and eventually must decide whether her children or a friendless man deserves the dog most.

Writing Prompt #43

            PROMPT 43 – KNICK-KNACKS

            This prompt is similar to Three Item Monty in as much as it uses items to stimulate your mind into generating new story ideas. If you have an old knick-knack drawer or memory chest, look through it. Take out the items one at a time. Perhaps they generate a memory that triggers a story idea. Or maybe they are interesting enough to give you ideas if you think about the item in hand. If you don’t have a collection of memorabilia then take a trip to a antique store and look around. Something is bound to shake loose an idea for a story.

Example: I have an old aftershave bottle shaped like a car. It still has most of the aftershave in it, but I can’t imagine its any good after all these years.

The Glass Factory -

An inquisitive young man visits a factory that makes the most popular toys on the planet. Everything the factory makes is made out of the most beautiful glass—that doesn’t break. When he slips away from the guided tour of the factory he discovers a gateway to a world where technology is based on glass manufacturing and is powered by strange scented-liquids. Before he can return to the tour he is captured by the Glass Baron and put on trial as an industrial spy. His only hope of returning home safely is to escape the Glass Castle and find the portal that will take him back to Earth.