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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.



Thursday, June 15, 2017

Writing Prompt #41

PROMPT 41 - DREAM MACHINES


            This prompt requires quite a bit of imagination. The idea is to make a list of imaginary devices and then feature one of them as the centerpiece of your story. For example, a radio that eavesdrops on your neighbors. Here is a list of ideas for the origins of your devices:


            - Recently discovered/invented tech.

            - Tech brought back from the future/an alien planet/a different dimension.

            - A magical artifact passed down as a family heirloom.

            - An artifact given as a gift from the gods.

            - A cursed object of power inhabited by an evil spirit.

            - The object mysteriously shows up one day.
 

What Will the Neighbors Say? – Who doesn’t love a yard sale? But when Greg and Monica buy a vintage radio from the strange old man living next door, their lives are changed. By simply changing the station Greg and Monica can listen to any conversation taking place in the houses on their block. They discover which of the people in the neighborhood are really their friends, which are snooty pretenders, and which ones are planning to murder someone living on the block.

 

Writing Prompt #40

    PROMPT 40 – SAY AGAIN

            Take a common phrase and imagine someone saying it to you during a conversation. Then work through a list of uncommon responses until you find one that really ignites your imagination. Develop a story based on that response.

            For example: the phrase, “Go to blazes/Hades.”

Imagine what kind of story you could write if the response was, “Nope. I can’t go there. Satan still has a restraining order on me.”

            Or for the phrase, “Would you like a hand?”

The response might be, “Sure, but where would I put it?”


            Here are a few phrases I found especially ripe for story-mining:

            - The best of two worlds.
            - Add insult to injury.
            - A blessing in disguise.
            - Costs an arm and a leg.
            - You’re playing the Devil’s Advocate.
            - Every cloud has a silver lining.
            - You let the cat out of the bag.
            - Steal someone’s thunder.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Writing Prompt #39


            PROMPT 39 – OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD
 

            Story ideas abound in the world around us. They can even be taken from our jobs. This prompt gives authors a chance to pull from something they know quite well—their jobs. If the author has a problem picking an event from their job then they can look to the profession of a relative or a friend.
            Choose a profession and then add a surprise to the normal work routine. A doctor could find that his/her patient has a mysterious organ that doesn’t belong in a human body. A construction worker might discover a buried artifact, or a body, on the construction site. A nurse could walk into a room and find that a coma patient is awake and asks her to write something down because it is important.

            For example, one of my first jobs was as a projectionist in a small independent movie theater. What if a character started a new job at a theater and discovered that the projector started by itself at midnight every Saturday and showed images of the future?
 

Sneak Peek – Randy loves his job as a projectionist, staying up late and watching movies felt more like entertainment than work. Then a friend asks him to cover his Saturday night shift, everything changes. He discovers that the projector can start on its own and shows images of events that will take place in the week ahead. But his friend doesn’t return to work and Randy is left as the sole caretaker of a projector that predicts the future and a mystery of a missing coworker to solve.