Friday, September 16, 2016

Endings inspired by a sestina (fiction prompt)

From Poets&Writers, Week 35:

Find a short story you've written in the past and select six important aspects of the story, such as characters, words, and images. Write a new, alternate ending by reiterating or revisiting these motifs on the last page.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A poetry prompt inspired by your travels

The older I get, the less my body likes traveling. I do think about it from time to time--like I think about the pleasure of eating dessert (which I don't care for very much in real life).

Here's another way of thinking about one's travels.

From Poetry&Writers' "The Time is Now":

Have you ever stepped onto foreign soil--whether it be another town, state, or country--and immediately felt like you were in a different galaxy? Or conversely, have you traveled to a seemingly faraway place only to find that it felt surprisingly just like home? Write two short poems about places you have visited or passed through, and explore your expectations and feelings of familiarity or strangeness in each one.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Prompt on clothing choices

From Poets&Writers' "The Time is Now" series, Week 24:

Write a personal essay that examines the progression of your own clothing choices. Have you gone through phases when your outfits--whether influenced by a job, emotional state, or cultural shifts--were formal or informal, plain or adorned, monochromatic or colorful?

Friday, September 2, 2016

A Password Prompt: Fiction

From The Time is Now, Week 23:

As personal information and financial transactions become increasingly digitized, more and more reliance is placed on online accounts and password-protected websites, thus the number of accounts any person maintains is growing each year. At the same time, studies report that most people reuse the same five or so passwords, and the most popular ones remain the same, year after year, such as: password, 123456, football, baseball, and qwerty. Write a short story in which your main character finds a list of important passwords. What does the combination of passwords and accounts reveal about the person who created them? Is there a pattern that leads to the discovery of additional information? If there are consequences for your character's unexpected access to someone else's private data, how do they play out in the context of your story?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Love, judgment, forgiveness: Poetry prompt

From Poets&Writers' "The Time is Now" series, Week 23:

"Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them," writes Oscar Wilde in his 1891 novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Drawing upon your own experiences with parents, guardians, mother or father figures--or your personal history as a parent yourself--compile a short list of specific memories and observations divided into three categories: love, judgment, and forgiveness. Would you agree with Wilde that children's love for and judgment of parents are inevitable, but forgiveness of them may be less so? How might you see forgiveness as a more conscious component of a parent-child relationship? Write a three-part poem that explores the many nuances of a parent-child relationship as it evolves with age.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fiction prompt

From Poets&Writers' "The Time is Now," Week 29:

In "Superpowered Storytelling" in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers MagazineBenjamin Percy refers to Tony Earley's quote: "Every story is about the thing and the other thing." Percy explains by citing two examples of fiction in which the story is about a character working a job, and an added layer about that character in a developing relationship. Write a short story in which the exterior plot follows the day-to-day actions of your main character at work, while the interior landscape is about her evolving relationship with a secondary character. How can you manipulate the details about the job to serve as a metaphor for the relationship?