Writing Prompts: By Chance

It’s interesting what folktales we choose to hang on to. I mean really why is it we are getting weather advice from some gopher who probably hasn’t seen the light of day in months.

Anyway in honor of Groundhog’s Day, here are some fiction prompts that involve a little participation from you. Your duty is to grab a coin and assign option one to head and option two to tail. The fate of your character depends on the outcome of the coin toss.

1. A bride is nearing the end of her wedding ceremony when her ex-lover stands up and objects. Does she a) abandon her future mate and ride off into the sunset on the back of a Harley with her ex or b) tell the ex to hit the road and say “I do” to her current stud muffin?

2. A police officer is assigned a case where a fellow officer is implicated in the crime. To make matters worse, they hate each other. Does the character a) ignore their heartfelt pleas of innocence and pass the case on to another officer or b) take the case?

3. A character is given a chance to go back in time and stop a terrible dictator from ruining the world. Do they a) go back and assassinate the dictator or b) try to change a pivotal point in the dictator’s life that made them they way they are?

4. A human is cloned with the specific purpose of harvesting their organs. During their lifespan they become self “conscious”. It is necessary to remove their heart for transplant and they refuse. Does the doctor a) perform the surgery or b) refuse?

5. Two tribes are meeting to discuss a cooperative effort between the two tribes that will help all of them survive the coming winter. However during these talks, one tribes son insults the others daughter in such a way that requires the one tribe to declare war on the other. Does the tribal leader a) does as his culture demands and declare war or b) overlook this transgression and let his daughter live in shame for all of her days which means sending her away from the village to fend for herself.

6. A character brings home their lover to meet the family but the lover has already met one of the siblings as they were involved a few years before. Does the sibling a) pull the character aside and tell them about the past relationship or b) keep their mouth shut and hope it never comes up over eggnog at Christmas?

7. There is a fire in a three story home and a character is trapped in the room. Do they a) jump out the window and hope for the best or b) go rushing through the fire and hope for the best?

8. A former thief is extorted to engage in grand theft or be sent to jail. Does the thief a) perform the heist or b) call the extortionists bluff?

9. a college student goes to their dorm room only to find a large hole in the middle of the room. When they open the door to leave their room, they find that it now leads to a different dimension. Do they a) jump down the hole in the floor or b) walk through the door.

10. A child wants to make money to buy the latest game console. Do they a) open up a lemonade stand or b) get a paper route.

Writing Prompts: Setbacks

If you have been working hard on your New Year’s resolution as I know you have, chances are you have suffered a few setbacks by now. So this week’s set of writing prompts is dedicated to the art of hitting the wall face first and living to tell about it.

Nonfiction

1. Tell us about a time when you hit the wall with your face and how you managed to climb over it.

2. Pick someone you admire and tell their story of how they hit the wall, climbed over it and the lesson you learned from their story.

3. Pick which human invention or historical incident you think has set humanity back the most and/or continues to keep us from moving forward in our development.

4. Write an article on the most common setback encountered (in any topic) and how to overcome them.

5. List the top ten setbacks encountered by any person, company or society that actually stopped them from moving forward.

Fiction

6. A knight goes to rescue the princess with really long hair that is trapped in a tower. Except she won’t let down her hair, tells him she doesn’t need to be rescued and to go away and mind his own business.

7. The luckiest man on Earth suddenly becomes the most unlucky man on Earth and much woe befalls him.

8. A popular band loses their lead singer and guitarist in the middle of their world tour.

9. A character is trying to quit smoking and promises to pay anyone a sum of money if they are caught smoking. They are caught smoking.

10. A character spends days working on a report for a very important client only to find out, last minute, that the client changed their requirements.

Writing Prompts: World Changers

History is filled with people who, in one way or another, changed the world in some way. In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr day, here is a list of ten people worth writing about.

1. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights activist who helped bring the indignity of racism and discrimination to the public fore.

2. Mahatma Gandhi, a political and spiritual leader in India and the India Independence movement.

3. Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, inventers of the magnetic resonance imaging or better known as the MRI.

4. Bill Gates, owner of Microsoft

5. Rosalind Franklin, physicist and crystallographer contributed to the Crick and Watson’s model of DNA by producing a clear x-ray of a strand of DNA.

6. Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web, the first web browser, server and editor.

7. Mikhail Gorbachev, a Russian politician who helped to bring an end to Communism in Russia.

8. Esther Hobart Morris, a leader in the women’s suffrage movement. She was the first woman to serve as a Justice of the Peace in the US.

9. Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the US. Several measures that he passes resulted in the abolition of slavery.

10. Leonardo Da Vinci, a Renaissance man who’s painting, journals and various inventions survive him to influence the world today.

Writing Prompts: From Goal to Glory

With every New Year comes a list of things we wish to have accomplished by year’s end that somehow manage to slip through the cracks between January 1 and December 31. This week’s list of writing prompts have to do with the achievement of set goals.

Nonfiction

1. Pick a topic, any topic, and write an article on how a person would achieve a set goal in that topic. For instance, how would a person go about losing weight or quitting smoking?

2. Tell us your story of how you achieved goal you set out for yourself.

3. With teen millionaires becoming the norm, write an article for teens discussing the importance of goal setting and how to do it.

4. Write about ten (or as many as you can think of) of the strangest goals you have ever heard of and whether or not the person accomplished their mission.

5. Discuss what you consider to be the most important goal that humanity as a whole should be working on.

Fiction

Write story with the following prompts as the theme.

6. A character decides they want to become a vampire.

7. A puppy decides that it is going to get itself adopted by a family.

8. Two siblings have a party (or other social event) they want to go to but one of them has to stay home and babysit the youngest sibling.

9. A character decides they are going to break the world record for the most number of days without sleep.

10. A ghost decides it is going to break the underworld record for scaring the most people out of its house.

Writing Prompts: New Beginnings

In honor of the New Year, this week’s set of writing prompts will focus on new beginnings.

Non Fiction

1. What does it mean to reinvent oneself?

2. What is life like after a divorce?

3. If you have ever owned a business, describe what your opening day was like.

4. Take one of your New Year’s resolutions and create a plan of action to achieve it.

5. Describe a time in your (or someone else’s) life when you (or they) had to start over. What lessons did you learn from that?

Fiction

6. Describe what the world feels like after a torrential rain storm.

7. Write a story about the first set of people to settle on Mars.

8. A character who was wrongfully convicted of a crime is finally vindicated and released after 20 years in jail.

9. A garbage man leaves his secure job with waste management to pursue his dream of being a private eye. Write about his first case.

10. It is the first day of work for a woman who unwittingly is working for the boss from hell. Literally.