Monday, May 2, 2022

Writing Prompt: A Sharp-Dressed Character

You know it.  I know it.  The girl next door knows it.  ZZ Top sang about it.  It's been shown through time and history that every girl's crazy about a sharp-dressed man.  When you think of some of the icons of television, music, and film, there are many leading men who dress well.  Some of the greatest fictional characters were also noted for dressing well.  James Bond comes to mind.

Cary Grant - 1973 photo by Allan warren, CC BY-SA 3.0 
via Wikimedia Commons
 Here's a 1973 photo of actor Cary Grant looking dapper in a suit and tie and sporting cufflinks.  I'm not sure he was ever in a movie where he didn't wear a suit.

Do clothes make the man?  Do they make the character?  What do they tell you about a character?  For today's writing exercise, create a short story involving a character who --

 dresses very well.

Monday, April 25, 2022

Photo Writing Prompt: The Magnifying Glass and Postcards

In the truly old school detective novels and movies, the magnifying glass was a useful tool.  After all, it is the tool that inspectors used to inspect things.  In the photo below, a magnifying glass sits atop a pile of vintage postcards.

Magnifying Glass and Postcards - photo by Anna, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

For today's writing prompt, create a story where a character uses -
a magnifying glass to solve a mystery.

Monday, April 18, 2022

Writing Prompt: Don't Do It!

Archeologists have discovered a lead-lined sarcophagus containing a body beneath fired-damaged Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France. 

Notre Dame Cathedral - Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Of course, scientists want to open the coffin and examine the body before re-interring it. While the general public has seen enough horror movies to know that this is a bad idea, we are powerless to stop it.  This news article in The Huffington Post summarizes the situation.

Sarcophagus Gallo Ignalli - Photo by DmitriiLD, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

For today's writing exercise, create a short piece of fiction highlighting -- 

the hazards of opening a sarcophagus!


Saturday, April 2, 2022

Writing Prompt: The Gold Prospector

The hunt for treasure has driven many a story.  From pirates along the Spanish Main to prospectors in the Old West or the Alaskan Klondike, there is something about finding gold and striking it big that captures the imagination.

Gold Prospector - Sketch by Tony Oliver from Denver, CO, USA, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

For today's writing prompt, write a short story or piece of flash fiction that features 

a gold prospector 

Your gold prospector story can be set in the American Old West, Alaska, South America, Appalachians or a far away planet in any time-setting.  If there's gold in them thar hills and the an opportunity to strike it rich, I'm sure they'll turn up!

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Writing Prompt: Crime Gone Wrong

Some of my favorite crime stories are stories of crimes gone wrong.  From goofy stories of dimwitted convenience store robbers who don't put their masks on until after they've been caught on camera to grim stories where protagonists find out participating in a crime can have devastating consequences like the Miami Vice episode "Milk Run", stories of crime gone wrong are always intriguing.

Crime always seems to pay, but when it doesn't, it really, really, doesn't.  For today's writing prompt, write a short story of --

a crime gone wrong

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Writing Prompt: A Story on the High Seas

Once upon a time, this country built great ships.  The S.S. United States was one such ship.  It was the largest cruise liner ever built in the United States.  Launched in 1951, she was one of the fastest passenger liners in history with a claimed top speed of 43 knots.  She won the coveted Blue Riband for cross the Atlantic Ocean in 3 days, 12 hours, and 12 minutes at an average speed of slightly over 35 knots. 

SS United States from a vintage Postcard - Public Domain on Wikimedia Commons

My grandfather was proud to have helped build the S.S. United States.  Here is a photo of one of the blueprints. 

For today's writing prompt, write us a tale that -- 

occurs on the high seas aboard a luxury liner.  

It can be anything from an epic maritime disaster, a wartime game of hunter and hunted, or even a cozy mystery set among the elite passengers and crew of a great ship.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Story Prompt: A Cold Weather Survival Story

 Winter is here and it's cold.  Where I live we have to wear socks.  But, where many people live, winter can be a matter of life and death.  There are lots of good stories of cold weather survival.  One of my favorite short stories is Jack London's "To Build A Fire."  If you've ever watched the any Creek Stewart's survival shows on The Weather Channel, you'll see how serious cold weather can get.  A wrong turn, a snowmobiling accident, or a sudden change in the weather can lead to disaster. For today's writing prompt, write a story about -- 

being stranded in snow, ice, and frigid temperatures.

Snowmobiling in Finland - Timo Newton-Syms from Helsinki, Finland & Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0 < >, via Wikimedia Commons

Writing Prompt: A Sharp-Dressed Character

You know it.  I know it.  The girl next door knows it.  ZZ Top sang about it.  It's been shown through time and history that every girl&...