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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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Writing Prod

The First Prod

            As previously promised, here is my first writing prompt feature. Please feel free to provide me with feedback as to how you like it and whether I should continue it as a weekly feature.

            Think of “Prompt Prod” as a jump start on your creativity for the week. If you feel up to the task use the prompt to write a small 100-200 word story and post a link to it here in the comments section. Then once you’ve warmed up your writing muscles you’ll be ready to jump right back in to your WIP.

            A second reason for doing this is to take a look at various story generating methods. My wife has pointed out that I turn everything into a story. It’s true. Commercials, songs on the radio, a trip to the grocery store are all grist for my daily stories that I tell her when she asks how my day went. More importantly for this feature is the fact that they can provide any writer with the basic plot for a short-story or novel and over the weeks ahead we will delve into that concept.

            Today, we are going to look at generating stories from movie titles. That is how I discovered the idea for my first novel. As a beginning author I had worried about running out of ideas for stories. (Silly me.) Just to see how hard it would be to generate more I took out a book that reviewed older movies and scanned through the titles. Whenever a title caught my attention I wrote it down. Once I reached a goodly number of titles I closed the book and took a closer look at what I had. As it turned out Death Race 2000 was in that list and it got me wondering what it would be like to have a race for dead people. And that is how I came up with the idea for Hellathon.

            We are going to do the same thing today. I am going to list ten movie titles and anyone who wants to participate can write a short story, first page of a story, a story segment, or even the elevator pitch for a novel based on what comes to mind when you think about that title.

            Here are the ten titles. I hope you have fun with it.

            1. They Might Be Giants

            2. The Long Goodbye

            3. They Were Expendable

            4. Thunder Road

            5. Angels Die Hard

            6. You Only Live Twice

            7. Keeper of the Flame

            8. A Song Is Born

            9. A New Life

            10. Walk, Don’t Run

            While I was looking for titles to include it occurred to me that I should probably participate in the exercise myself. It helped that several ideas jumped out at me when I looked at the titles. I’m going to include two elevator pitches for stories as my contribution to the exercise.

Based on “They Might Be Giants” is a pitch for a children’s book: Jared and Sally have been asked by their father to take a pair of shoes to a customer in the next town. They are the most enormous shoes either of them have ever scene. Could it be that the people living there are giants? And if so, what will happen to the children when they arrive?

Based on “The Long Goodbye” is a pitch for romantic screenplay: Rob and Sarah have one last weekend together before he ships off to war.


  1. Hi Randy, I won't really have time to write a short piece based on the prompts. But when I saw the title "You Only Live Twice", it made me think of my current WIP. So here's my 10-word elevator pitch:

    Twelve-year-old Jimmy Easton must lose her life to find it.

    Thanks for doing something fun on your blog. :)

    1. That's what I'm talking about. I think it's amazing that based on this one title people could come up with hundreds of ideas for a story.

      Your story sounded great. I'd like to hear more.

  2. Fun exercise! I will have to mull! Linda your story sounds GREAT!

    1. Thank you. Hope you're mulling still. I'd love to hear a pitch from you.

  3. I love this idea, but any kind of writing other than blog posts is on hold until May. This A to Z challenge is mad!

    Love that children's story btw ;-)

    1. I hope you'll participate in May.

      Thanks. I am seriously thinking about writing the childrens story. I think it could be pretty good and it resounded with my creative center (which is what determines what I write).