I love words! Word choice is crucial to my enjoyment of a song, movie, or book. The perfect words and references make the experience rapturous while poorly chosen ones make it painful.
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to build a story using one or more words as your foundation.
- Go to merriamwebster.com and write a story using the word of the day. The word of the day can be used in your story or be the theme of your story.
- For something even more challenging, go to merriamwebster.com 5-7 days in a row and use all 5-7 words in your story. Make sure there’s a plot!
*Remember, this is a writing exercise. If you like the story and the words don’t work, cut them during the revision phase. (Considering I’ve never edited something just once, I should probably say “phases.”)
Hello everyone and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to create a comedic or tragic holiday mix-up.
What would happen if Santa Claus slept through Christmas and tried to deliver the gifts on New Year’s Eve instead? Do the Tooth Fairy and leprechauns have it in for one another? Your imagination is your only limitation.
Whatever you do, you must include at least two holidays and/or holiday characters in your story.
“Do you know what my favorite part of the game is? The opportunity to play.” – Mike Singletary
When I get in a writing slump, I find writing prompts to be helpful in getting the creative juices flowing. I also use writing prompts to challenge myself or as a fun activity to do with friends who also enjoy creative writing.
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to write a short story that contains all of the words in the featured image.
An alternate version of the writing challenge is to play your own game of Speed Scrabble and use the words you created to write a short story.
You can add to the fun by getting a group of people together, all using the featured image or playing a round of Speed Scrabble together, and then taking 30 minutes to write a short story.
Happy writing and go Eagles!
Have you ever heard the expression, “You can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse?” If you look at what someone carries with them or how they decorate their home, you get an idea about their likes, interests, habits, etc.
Try to describe yourself through things. Go through your house and choose eight objects that represent you as a person. You only get to use eight items to portray yourself, so make each one count. See if you can hint at more than one thing about yourself through your selections. (This skill comes in handy with word choice as well.)
Now that you’ve created your own object character bio, ask someone to choose eight items at random. Your challenge for the next two weeks is to create a character based off of the eight things you were given. If this does not resonate with you or if you finish early, you can also try to write a short story that contains all eight objects in a logical way.
What were you able to infer about me from the eight objects I shared? I’d love to find out! Feel free to post your inferences in the comments section below.
Anyone who knows me is aware that I love theaters, both cinematic and stage. Sometimes, while watching a movie or a performance, a line or concept will stand out to me. If I tap into my writer side, I will notice that two storytelling possibilities are presenting themselves:
- Take the idea behind the line and use it as the theme for a story.
- Use the line as the springboard for a character. Write the line into that character’s dialogue and let the tone of that line guide a scene or the character’s personality through the story. (If you choose this option, be sure to go back later and change the line so there is not a copyright infringement.) Remember, with this option, you are using the words of the line, but you can change the tone, situation, and body language. For example, “Why so serious?” from The Dark Knight (2008) could be asked innocently or flirtatiously.
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to select one of the well-known, and in some cases abused, movie lines below. Then, write a short story using the line in one of the methods described above.
- “There’s no place like home.” – The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- “Just a flesh wound.” – Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
- “No. I am your father.” – Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
- “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- “Go ahead, make my day.” – Sudden Impact (1983)
- “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” – Dirty Dancing (1987)
- “You can’t handle the truth!” – A Few Good Men (1992)
- “Houston, we have a problem.” – Apollo 13 (1995)
- “Show me the money.” – Jerry Maguire (1996)
- “You make me want to be a better man.” – As Good As It Gets (1997)
When writing, I have always found story starters to be helpful. For me, a story starter is the most effective type of writing prompt. I have yet to meet a story starter that did not inspire me to write.
For the next two weeks, your writing challenge is to use the following story starter to write a short story.
The sun shone down, creating dappled shadows on the wooded path. Overhead, birds hopped and darted among the braches, alternately singing to and scolding each other. A crisp breeze rustled the changing leaves and tousled his hair. Although everything around him seemed peaceful, he couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was watching him.
“Play is a child’s work and this is not a trivial pursuit.” – Alfred Adler
Your writing challenge for the next two weeks is to choose one of the six word groups below and write a short story that uses all of the words mentioned. To make this even more challenging, you can roll a die to determine which set of three words you must use. (All of the words in the lists are from cards randomly drawn from the game Apples to Apples.)
- Chickens, Gossip, Zen
- The Little Mermaid, The JFK Assassination, Scene of the Crime
- Quicksand, Pro Wrestling, A Crawl Space
- Confucius, Roman Numerals, Dr. Kevorkian
- Firefighters, Jimmy Stewart, Leather
- The 1950s, Pond Scum, Marriage
*This writing prompt was inspired by an activity Justin Tappan had us do at our critique group.