Tag Archives: story prompts

What Can You Say in a Six Word Memoir?

We talked about Six Word Stories in the last post, and some of you came up with some great ones – thanks!  But did you ever think about a Six Word Memoir? I came across the idea about a month ago, over at Smith Mag.  They have some fabulous categories – Six Word Questions, Six Words on Love, Six Words by Tony Winners. The idea behind it is to put something of your day into six words, and the results range from humorous to heartbreaking to gee-I’ve-been-there.  Here’s a sample: Wish I’d take my own advice.  (Also the book title of teen memoirs.) Everybody really does know my name. Summer’s not the season for quarrels. Great, huh?  If you follow #sixwords on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of people expressing philosophy and inner thoughts as well as memoir, sometimes with a photo, sometimes in poem form:   untethered :: I … Continue reading

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Writing Practice & Writing Prompts

Anyone who loves creative writing and wants to write well can tell you that it’s hard work.  I can sweat, open a vein, and/or pound my head against the monitor with the best of them.  But like anything worth doing, the more you practice writing, the easier it gets. In one of the great writing books, Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg talks a lot about daily writing practice. Pick a word or phrase and just write what comes to mind. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dialogue, scenes, or poetry. You can write from your own memory, from a weird dream, or your neighbor’s soap-opera life.  Just not my life – that’s my own story fodder! I know, I know.  Daily writing practice sounds tedious.  But it’s actually the chance to write just for the joy of writing.  You get to play with words – how they sound, how they … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts – 6 Spooky Story Starters

In honor of Halloween, we’re doing spooky story starters this weekend.  Dust off your ghost-story-telling abilities and see where these ideas take you. Daylight, dense fog, muffled sound. You go for noon walk anyway. Describe your walk, and what happens when a dark shape suddenly looms before you. Late at night, flat tire, country road. What do you hear? How do you feel? Do you trust the man who pulls up in a pickup truck? Children are in bed, you’re reading a book in the living room.  You suddenly feel a prickle of skin – someone is watching you. What happens next? Turn several lights on in hotel room, put wallet on dresser and use bathroom.  When you come out, wallet is on the bed and two lights are turned off. What do you do? How do you feel? Dusk, walk through autumn woods with dog, listen to birds. Dog … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing Prompts– Story Starters About Revenge

Do you ever dream of what you would do to get back at someone?  Or are you too nice?  Even if you’re an understanding person, your character doesn’t have to be.  What kind of revenge would he or she take to make someone pay for what they did? Wait!  Make it more interesting – choose a situation below, and then spend five minutes brainstorming possible scenarios.  Do NOT write about the first one or two you list – those are the easy ones.  For a more interesting story, go with a scene you had to stretch for, one toward the end of your list. What kind of revenge might your character take if:  A party guest stole money from them? Their best friend added to an untrue rumor about them? Their partner/lover cheated on them? Their co-worker stole their great idea? A friend “borrowed” something and then damaged it? After … Continue reading

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Weekend Writing – Story Starters that Ask What If

Here are five writing prompts that ask the classic writer’s question, “What if?”  Each of these could create hundreds of story lines depending on the writer’s choices.  Where would you take it? What if . . . your brother and his wife are killed in a car accident and you become guardian of the children from hell? What if . . . a couple of teens steal a car to go joyriding, and it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? What if . . . the mild-mannered guy three doors down begins stalking you? What if . . . the sun’s glare through the windshield is blinding you and you hit an elderly man because you can’t see him? What if . . . a guy is rough-housing at the pool, shoves his friend in unexpectedly, and the friend hits his head and is paralyzed? Choose one and see … Continue reading

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