Writing Challenge/Prompt

First lines can be the most important part of a story. A first line can set up a story, draw in a reader, make you curious. Some starts to first lines get used again and again–“Once upon a time…” or “Long ago…”–because they work, accomplish all of those things and more, and can apply to […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

A natural disaster destroys a small mountain town–a fire, a flood, an earthquake–and the few survivors flee and don’t look back. Years later, someone stumbles upon what is left of the town. Every inch of the walls that are still standing in town are covered with highly skilled and beautiful paintings. Who painted them and […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

New Year’s Eve is the fresh start to a New Year. Nearly 2 million people crowd into Times Square to celebrate, and wait for the ball to drop. When the celebration is over, the revelers discover they are the only people left in the city. Where did everyone go? Put a character in the middle […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

They say the world will end in fire–and the fires won’t stop burning. Despite the best, most heroic efforts of science–or magic–as soon as one fire is put out, another starts. Put a character into this scenario and write a story. Remember: Challenges are supposed to be fun, but don’t forget to stretch yourself and […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Almost everyone has a book, or a series of books, they think of as comfort reads. You turn to these books often, reading them again and again, and reliving adventures with your favorite characters. After years of this, it gets to the point where you can recite parts of the book from memory. Then one […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Who is the most unlikely hero (aside from me) you can think of? Your next door neighbor, or your third cousin who gets a rash at the thought of danger or an adventure? What would this person do if the fate of the world rested on her/his shoulders–rise to the occasion (surprising everyone) or let […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

This month try a world-building challenge. What does it take to build a believable empire for a book or a story? Consider the society, the religion (or lack of religion), how people are fed, clothed, and how they go about their daily lives. Are all empires huge and far flung? And are empires by definition […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Everyone around you looks like a living, breathing person. Your family, your friends, and the person you’re falling in love with all feel real. Your heart tells you this is true. Occasionally, something you see or hear makes you doubt your heart. To make it worse, your head keeps asking uncomfortable questions. Put a character […]

Writing Challenge/Prompt

Imagine taking shelter from a snowstorm in an abandoned cottage. There is wood stacked next to the fireplace, a box of matches on the mantel, and blankets in a round topped chest against the wall. Warm and safe, you fall asleep in front of the fire. You wake to a summer day. Put a character […]

Writing/Challenge Prompt

Consider this scenario. Strange things have been happening in your little town; disappearances, illness and murders, food stores that vanish overnight. No one knows why or who, or how to stop it. Your character becomes convinced that the animals in town–the dogs, the cats, the livestock–see things she can’t. What does your character do when […]