My good friend and writing partner-in-crime, Jill Corddry, gets credit for being the one who finally pushed me to publish a book of writing prompts, which I called “Promptly: Write Fast, Write Now!” in September 2019. In addition to the random prompts I came up with, I also included a fair number of structured ways to approach using the writing prompts – just in case everyone else is like me and gets overwhelmed as soon as I have more than one prompt I want to try. You can buy the full book on Amazon or through most of your favorite online retailers through Draft2Digital, but here are a few prompts to whet your appetite.
Generation #15: You come across a piece of jewelry (your choice!) that imbues you with some ancient power when you wear it. Write about what you would do, where you’d go, and who you’d punish or reward with your newfound abilities.
Concept #3: Take an event that’s happened in your lifetime that will likely make it into the history books. What elements do you think will remain, when it becomes a legend? What might get exaggerated, and how?
Character #19: Put a character in a position to gamble, whether because it’s their habit or because circumstance forces them to. Throw them into a desperate position where they must bet something very dear to them. What is it, and how do they react when they lose?
Setting #7: Imagine your new world as a Wikipedia page. What points would snarky commentators make as double entendre or subtle digs, edited in when they thought no one would notice? What factual items would be included, and what would be omitted? How would an entire country and its population, cultures, traditions, and terrains be distilled to a few short paragraphs?
Conflict #12: An incredible motivator is hunger. Put an ordinary character into a perfectly ordinary situation. Now escalate the ways that character is prevented from getting food over the course of the next 12 hours. Keep in mind that the character’s emotional reactions will be less rational as they get hungrier!