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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.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Writing Prompt #26


            This prompt is based on writing a story from a radically different point of view, like that of an insect, or an alien, or even a stuffed animal. Andy Griffith started his comedic career this way when he did “What it was, was football.” The subject matter can be a common, every-day item like a family vacation.  

            Here are five unique POVs. 

            Wilson from Castaway

            Moby Dick from Moby Dick   

            The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland

            The portrait in The Picture of Dorian Gray

            The brooms in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

            Based on the broom in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice I generated this pitch.  

Stick Men - Broom marvels when he is brought to life. Before he was nothing but a tool in someone else’s hands, but now he can act on his own and he has purpose. The water has to be moved and he is just the one to do it.
            Then the world goes crazy when the creator attacks him. Or perhaps it isn’t the world that has gone insane – maybe it’s just the creator. A lowly broom may have no chance against the mighty sorcerer, but that isn’t going to prevent him from fulfilling his prime directive. And anything that gets in his way will pay the price.









            As part of a challenge set by my critique group I used this method to write Red Christmas. It’s a short story about what would happen if Santa was a communist. My wife hated the story and made me write “normal” Christmas stories every year after that for the family celebration.


Writing Prompt #25


            When I was introduced to this prompt fairy-tales were used to generate ideas for new stories, but this works with any kind of story or even news items. Take your favorite fairytale/story and develop a plot from the villain’s point of view. Make the villain the good guy in your story. And you don’t have to keep the setting. Feel free to turn the big bad wolf into insurance salesman in New York City 

            Here are five villains.            

            Marie Antoinette


Nurse Ratched


            Cruella De Vil

            Based on the Nurse Ratched I generated this pitch.  

Crazy Like a Fox – With a family to feed Rachel is forced to take a job at the State Mental Hospital. She has just about adjusted to the rigorous demands of the new job when the Justice Department commits a man accused of murder. As the weeks pass by, Rachel uncovers a plot by the criminal to recruit the rest of the inmates into his own private army and declare war on the city. But no one believes her. The criminal vows to target her family first when the inmates escape. Now she has to find a way to stop the criminal mastermind and his crazy army before the killing starts. 


Writing Prompt #24


            This prompt gets personal. Drawing from your own life experiences, take the most difficult decision you ever had to make and then write a fictional story based on that choice. Obviously, this lends itself to serious pieces of fiction, but it could be turned into comedy with a poignant message.

            Based on a tough experience in my life I generated this pitch.

Seperated - John and his son have been a team since the day that Johnny was born. Life blind-sides him when his ex-wife appears one day with a court order giving her temporary custody of Johnny. The one constant in John’s life has been his son’s love and without it he wonders how he can survive the daily grind. Knowing that if he creates a scene it will only cause more trouble for Johnny, he says goodbye. In the days to come he will not only have to find a way to return Johnny home, but also adapt to life without him.


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Writing Prompt #23


            This prompt has limited use. The idea is to take two sports and combine then to create a brand new sport. It works well for fantasy and science-fiction when you want to develop a society different from our own. Place the sport you created at the center of the story and develop the society which would play it.
            Keep in mind that sports movies are about more than just the sport. They provide a setting for the people who play and manage the sport, the people watching the sport, and the sponsors. That gives plenty of plot possibilities to explore.   

            Here are five sports match-ups.  

            Football and soccer

            Baseball and dodgeball

            Bowling and track

            Basketball and volleyball

            Swimming and boxing

            Based on football and soccer I generated this pitch.  

Ball - Touted as the ultimate team sport they just call it Ball. Some think of it as a mangled version of volleyball, soccer, and dodge ball. Allen just considers it awesome. He is on the fast track to becoming the first Ball player drafted out of high-school. The big teams are wooing him to sign when he is contacted by a government rep to play for the National team. But when he signs with the Nationals he finds out that it isn’t a game at all. The government is using the sport to influence the minds of the country’s citizens. Now Allen has to choose between playing along and becoming the greatest Ball player of all time or destroying the very game he loves.



Writing Prompt #22


            Good stories spring forth from strong characters. Select a fictional character or a historic figure and interview him/her. Ask them tough questions. Get to know them. At some point a plot will develop from the questions and the answers in the interview.  

            Here are five interesting people to interview.  

            Judas Iscariot

            King Tut

            Mata Hari

            Joan of Arc     

            Vincent van Gogh

            Based on an interview with Judas Iscariot I generated this pitch.  

Haunted Streets – Contrary to what the world believes Judas Iscariot is not dead—he is cursed. The immortal has wandered in search of emotional refuge. Angels taunt him. Devils follow him. Then he stumbles across the only human older than himself and a chance to redeem his mistake. 

Writing Prompt #21


             This is similar to the “What If” prompt but pulls its inspiration from your vision of a perfect world. Of course, we all know there is no such thing as a perfect world and as soon as you created one you’d have to turn right around and tear it down. This still generates scenarios and settings different from reality.  

            Here are five statements about “If I were king”

            If I were king ice cream would be the national treat

            If I were king there would be no career politicians

            If I were king conservatives, liberals, and independents would live separately

            If I were king everyone would have to spend 2 years in government service

            If I were king there would be a limit to the number of times a movie is remade

            Based on conservatives, liberals, and independents living separately I generated the following pitch.

Romeo Westside – When Romeo is dared by his friends to sneak into the neighboring town and pluck a couple of the mayor’s prized roses he never expected to run into the most beautiful girl in the world. Not only is she a conservative, but she’s the mayor’s daughter too. The two of them work against the system to discover if love can overcome politics.