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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, May 9, 2016

Writing Prompt #31


            This is a character driven prompt. Take a few moments to visualize a character. It can be as simple as stating a stereotype like a newspaper boy or a boring banker. Then think of the worst thing that could happen to him/her. You can even take it a step further and decide on a character for the B-Story and create the worst situation that could exist between them.
            Here are a few character suggestions to work with.
            A teen-aged witch

            A star college football player

            An alien spy from another planet

            Your neighbor

            Your spouse

            Your best friend           

            My pitch for this exercise is based on an alien spy from another planet.

Star Power –Zarklo received very specific instructions for his mission on Earth. Stay out of sight and observe the humans. All that is left in the proverbial galactic space dust when he wanders onto a Hollywood movie set and is mistaken for the title character in the latest creature feature. Fame, fortune, and did we mention fame? His picture is on billboards and in advertisements across the globe. Then he receives news that his supervisor is on his way to monitor his mission progress.


Writing Prompt #30


            At the start of your writing time for the day, jot down three ideas that interest you. Then pick the one that most interests you. Close your eyes and imagine it as a movie playing inside your head. What happens? Write about what took place inside your head.
            Instead of a topic you can do this with a character. In this case, close your eyes and picture the first person that comes to mind. Describe this person and then plop him/her into a setting and see what develops.
            In either case, let the images flow on their own and write down the result in your movie/writing journal.

            My movie journal entry for this exercise is based on an image of an angel coming to my mind.

Angels and Children – Tommy is a junior angel. His eighth birthday was just around the corner when he was called back to heaven. That was a year ago. His first assignment starts when a young mother prays for her six-year-old child who is starting school the next day. Tommy must help the handicapped Patrick as he navigates the strange, new environment without friends and hiding a handicap. Quite a first assignment for a junior angel.


Writing Prompt #29


            It may sound a bit morbid, but with this prompt you’re going to get inspiration for your story from the obituaries. Look at a couple of the biographies on the obituaries page and select one that grabs your attention. Ask yourself what sort of story would a person like this be involved in. Make changes to the character as needed.  

            Sample Obituary: Following high school, Robert Pulson enlisted in the Navy, serving on a ship that patrolled the Panama Canal area. He received a B.S. degree and spent his career doing hybrid corn research in Kansas. Due to his disability he took an early retirement from Corn King Co. His retirement interests were music related.  

            The pitch for this exercise is based on the above obituary.  

Ghosts of the Corn – A Navy enlisted man and his buddies spend a week trekking through the jungles of Panama and discover a native tribe who cultivate a corn field where the dead walk the earth. When he steals several ears of corn to plant in his parent’s farm in Kansas, tribal spirits of the dead work against him, first to prevent the corn from growing and then to disrupt his studies to develop a hybrid which will grow in Kansas where his brother is buried. Robert wants is one last conversation with his brother to resolve the argument they had before his death, but the haunting may drive him insane before his research succeeds.



Writing Prompt #28


Using this prompt should result in creating stories that are more emotionally driven since they will be based on the author’s life experiences. Allow words to flow from your subconscious to the page, making a list of any nouns that are generated this way. Then let your mind associate those with mental pictures out of your past. These become the foundation for your stories.

For instance:

Airplane – climbing a plane monument in a park and nearly falling off.

Truck – my family taking a vacation in my dad’s beat up Chevy.

Lumber – working with an accident prone laborer twice my age.            

Slow Moe – Randy started his construction career as a laborer under the tutelage of Joe “Moe” Morrison. Moe suffered injury after injury, remaining a laborer even after Randy started his own construction company and hired him. Then Randy suffers a debilitating work injury and Moe offers help Randy at home until he recovers. In the wake of their strengthening friendship, Randy discovers that Moe’s mishaps weren’t funny at all.


Writing Prompt #27


This is similar to the Titles prompt in which you look at the names of books, movies, and songs to inspire you in creating an original story. The difference is that with this prompt you are creating the title yourself rather than looking at what’s already out there.
During the process of naming some of your earlier works you may have developed a list of titles that sounded great, but didn’t fit the story as well as you would have liked. This is a perfect time to trot those out and put them to use. Or maybe a great title for a story popped into your head while you were driving to work. Now you just need a story to go with it.
If inspiration hasn’t dropped the name of a story into your lap then you will have to work a bit to build one. Modify a quote, an old saying, or a verse from the Bible to make it sound snappy. Make a list of random words from the dictionary and move them around until they form some sort of cohesive line that grabs your attention. Take the first line of your favorite novel and turn it into a title.

            The pitch for this exercise is based on a title that came to me several years ago and, for whatever reason, caught my attention—The Price of Souls. 

The Price of Souls – Lona dreamed of becoming the first woman President of the United States. Then she grew up. Life in the fast lane seemed more realistic and entertaining than childhood fantasies. One party too much and Lona stands in front of the Creator. She is charged with correcting the mistakes of her life—a task that may take generations to undo the series of ill events which resulted from her actions.