My best short story came from a fun writing exercise in a critique group.
We were supposed to write from the perspective of someone on a date, trying desperately to break up with their significant other. I got home and pounded out the story in twenty minutes, and I’m still happy with it a year later. It’s actually one of the most complex things I have written, and I didn’t have a chance to overthink it.
Today, I’ve been looking for good prompts like that to use, hoping to do some writing sprints. I haven’t come up with much other than dialogue prompts, which I really dislike. The dialogue prompt is (duh) in a different voice than mine, and it’s hard for me to go from there into my voice. I need a blank slate. Or a slightly blanker slate, with some rule lines like on notebook paper…
Here’s my first attempt at inventing prompts!
15-20 minute writing sprint prompts
- Write about a blind date from the first-person perspectives of both parties.
- Write about an immigrant to a new country attempting to handle something without being able to speak the language
- Write about people of the past going to someone’s house from a different time period (this has always been one of my favorite things to imagine haha!)
- Your book just turned into a worldwide bestseller, and now you’re a famous author. Begin writing your brutally honest memoir.
- Take an assumption people make about their fellow man, or something you’ve witnessed first hand that was unfair, and tell a story that makes your character seem like all these terrible assumptions are true. Then, twist the perspective at the very end so that you see what seemed bad about them was a complete misunderstanding. Challenge your reader to see how false assumptions can be! This was what happened in my short story from a prompt, so it’s possible to do this in just a few pages.
Now to make this WAY more fun, here are some settings you could incorporate!
- The storyline for an episode of Friends
- Your life, as narrated by you
I hope you enjoy! If anyone writes about a first date in prison, or Queen Guinevere’s memoirs after publishing Confessions of a Noble Love Triangle…please send it to me. 😉