Thursday, February 28, 2019

Writing Prompt: Pissed Off

Bad things happen when people get pissed off.  Remember the last time you were really angry.  Remember the last evening news story about an angry person.  Today's writing prompt is to write a short story about a character who is . . .


Photo by Kanishk0001 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Writing Prompt: Finders Keepers Dilemma

Today we offer another dilemma for characters to find themselves in.  Your character finds an envelope with $2000 dollars in it just laying on the sidewalk.  For today's writing prompt - 

What do they do?

Writing Tip: Finding Time to Write

Everyone is busy.  Most writers have regular jobs, commutes, family commitments, kids, pets, and other interests competing for their time.  This makes it difficult to find the time to write.  Many people find it impossible to answer the question:

How do you find time to write a book?

The answer is simple.  You don't.  Unfortunately, you don't live in an era where you can take a holiday to a beautiful estate in Jamaica, close out the world, write every day for a couple of months, and emerge with a novel.

Instead, you find time to write 50 words or a 100 words or 200 words.  While you don't live in Ian Fleming's era and you can't escape to Goldeneye, you do have more than a portable typewriter at your disposal.  You don't have to follow Ian Fleming's writing routine.  You can write a few paragraphs anytime you want.  You can write them on your phone.  You can write them in an e-mail (not a day job work e-mail) and you can send them to yourself.  You can write them using Google Docs and store them in the cloud.  You can write them every day, every other day, or even just one or two days a week.  The whole point is just to write a little and to write as often as you can.

Just Make Progress.

The cliched old proverb posits that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  This is true of writing a book as well.  If you make regular progress, you will eventually get a book finished.  This is great for all of us normal mortals who get inspired to write.

For those of us who are writing small snippets in time, here are a few writing tips:

  • Prepare an outline to guide your efforts.
  • Keep a list of characters.
  • Write to a good stopping point whenever possible.
  • Number your chapters so that you can sequence your writing.

Once you get your book finished, you will need to invest a chunk of time on editing and formatting to bring a polished product together.  When you edit, pay attention to make sure your product can be read continuously and seamlessly. 


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Writing Prompt: Old Car

Nearly everyone has a story about an old car that they loved or hated.  As today's writing prompt, take 250 words, or more, to tell us about a car you once owned, drove, road in, wrecked, restored, sold, bought, or stole.  If you don't have such a car in mind, make up a story about this old Triumph TR-7.  Strap in.  Start her up.  Get into gear.  Today's writing prompt is -

Tell us about the old car.

Triumph TR-7

Monday, February 25, 2019

Writing Prompt: Occasion and Setting

Sometimes you just need a time and a place to describe in your writing.  Today's prompt is lunch at a restaurant.  Write a short piece of fiction that involves characters having lunch at a restaurant. Consider questions like -

What is the restaurant like?
What are people eating?
Why are people meeting?
What are they discussing?
What happens while they have lunch?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Writing Prompt: Transportation Photo

Nothing evokes youthful European adventures more than a motor scooter.  It offers the wind in your face without the menace that is sometimes implied by the more bad ass motorcycle.  Write a flash fiction short story (of say 250 words or so) that incorporate a motor scooter like this one --

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Random Word Writing Prompt: A touch of glamour

Today's writing prompt consists of a few words that evoke glamour and style.  Put together a short work that uses each of these five words.


Friday, February 22, 2019

Writing Prompt: Random Word Prompt

Sometimes you just need a few words and a little coffee to get you started.  For today's writing prompt, write something that incorporates all of the following words:


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Object Writing Prompt: The Statue

Today's writing prompt centers around an object.  For today's prompt, we take a stroll through the ornamental garden.  Write something centered around --
this statue.

Some ideas:
Who is she?
What happened to her?
Why is she immortalized in a statue?
Who is in the garden?
Why are they there?
What are they thinking?
What are they doing?

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Setting Inspired Writing Prompt: Paris

Setting is an essential element of many great works of fiction.  Today's writing prompt is inspired by one of the great cities of the world:  Paris.

Write a short story of less than 1000 words that is set in - 
the city of Paris.

Photo by Benh LIEU SONG [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 4.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons
If you get on a roll, you may complete an entire novel in Paris.  If you don't know anything about Paris, make Paris a fictional small town in your state or province.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Song Inspired Writing Prompt: From Mick and the Boys

When it comes to short writing that captures a mood, a moment, or an experience, songs are often some of the best written little pieces of literature around.  Today, we can thank the legendary rock band, The Rolling Stones, for this writing prompt.  Let's introduce a character by completing this writing prompt in the first person:

Please allow me to introduce myself . . .

Monday, February 18, 2019

Writing Prompt: Sleepy Cat

Today's writing prompt is this cat.  Write a short piece of fiction involving this cat.

A stray cat sleeping in the Mayport, Florida, fishing village

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Writing Prompt: Countdown

Today's writing prompt is this photograph of a missile.  Write a short piece of fiction featuring a missile.

Roadside Missile Display - Cordele, Georgia
For more information about this particular missile, check out Roadside America's entry for the Confederate Nuclear Missile.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Six Word Saturday Writing Prompt:- Wocka Wocka Wocka

The very shortest, short, fiction is the six word story.  It's a challenge to compress some fragment of a story into six words.  You almost have to pick the right six words and everything else in a story is completely implied.  Are you up for a challenge?  Cook up  a six word story involving this -

Electric Wok

Friday, February 15, 2019

Writing Tip: You Don't Need the Perfect Writing Space

Many writers focus on creating the perfect environment for writing.  They seek to have the perfect office space, the perfect desk, the perfect lighting, and the perfect sounds.  They seek calming sounds and the perfect place for creativity.  Some want a writer's nook in a quiet upstairs place away from the hustle and bustle of the family room.  Some want a writing shack in the backyard or on a mountain top.  For those who achieve this perfect writers nook upon a hill, it can help.  But, for many of us the "perfect writing space" can be a colossal excuse.

When you don't have the perfect writing space, you can say many things:
  • I can't write because its too noisy.
  • I can't write because its too cluttered.
  • I can't write because there are too many people around.
  • I can't write because this chair is uncomfortable.
All of these things that you can say are simply excuses for not writing.  Writing is about inspiration and perspiration.  Many writers work for years to create the perfect place to write and, when they get there and turn on their computer, they still find themselves staring at the very same blank screen that you do.

You might find it more productive to focus on being prepared to write anywhere and anytime.  When I wrote my first novel, Zombie Complex, I wrote it in a couple of apartments that were quite simply substandard.  When I wrote about intrusive curry smells, cigarette smoke, annoying neighbors, and the like, all of those distractions were intruding into my writing environment.  I took all the anger and frustration that my substandard environment caused and incorporated it into my novel.  I think that all of these things and more made my characters more real.  English teachers and writing instructors tell us to "write what we know" and I know when my neighbors are cooking curry.  Most readers and reviewers agreed, but a few couldn't handle my truth.

Since my environment for writing was never perfect, I adapted to writing in any environment where I had time to write.  I used a desktop computer, a laptop, pen and paper, and even my cellphone when I wrote.  When I used to write for an online article publishing company,  I also used an AlphaSmart word processor.  Today, I have added a lightweight Chromebook to my arsenal of writing tools.  I have used these tools to write articles, short stories, or even book chapters, while waiting for an oil change at an auto service center.  You can leverage the portability of writing devices to make more power and authenticity into your prose.  For example, you can actually go to the place you are writing about and incorporate what you see, hear, and smell there into your work.

Since you probably have everything you need to write at any time and in any space, it's time to take the "writing space" off of your excuse list.  You can write anywhere.  Get cracking!

Interview Style Writing Prompt: Tell us about!

Everyone dreads job interviews.  The Human Resources people come up with lots of standardized questions that everyone just shrugs off like they are easy to handle.  But, sometimes, they are surprisingly challenging.  They also make great writing prompts.  Here's your chance to practice.

Tell us about a time you overcame an obstacle?

Captain Arthur on the Obstacle Course.  Photo by U.S. Army Europe Images from Heidelberg, Germany [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Writing Prompt: Valentine's Day

It's Valentine's Day today.  Did you remember?  If you didn't and you have a significant other, you better get up right now and get the one you love something for Valentine's Day.  If you are still with us, it's time to write how you feel about Valentine's Day.

In 250 words or less, answer one of these questions:

Why do you love Valentine's Day?
Why do you hate Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Four Word Writing Prompt: Hockey

Today's writing prompt is for you to create a short piece of fiction incorporating the following words:


Atlanta Gladiators Hockey Players - Photo by Alexdi at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0 (]

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Writing Prompt: Sunset

Today's writing prompt is for you to write something featuring -- 
a sunset!

A beautiful sunset

Will you create twitterature in 280 characters?
Will you create a work of nanofiction in 100 words or less?
Perhaps you could write a work of flashfiction in less than 1000 words?

Monday, February 11, 2019

Writing Prompt: Running late

Today's writing prompt is running late.  Write a story about someone who is running late.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Writing Prompt: Jet Airliner

Today's writing prompt is this photograph of this jet airliner at the airport.

To start your story, think about where this jet is going?  Where has it been?  Who's flying on this jet today?  Who is waiting for this plane to arrive?  Every passenger jet has played a part in a million stories?  What can you come up with?

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Writing Prompt: Dilemma

Sometimes people must come to grips with a dilemma.  The thoughts and actions surrounding one make for great story fodder.  For today's writing prompt consider what a character might do if he or she learned that a friend was involved in some kind of criminal activity.  Create a fictional situation and where a character has to consider these sorts of questions:

Would they turn their friend in?
Would they still consider them a friend?
What advice would they give the friend?
How would the friend take it?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Writing Prompt: In the swamp

Setting is an important component of most fiction.  Today's writing prompt will take you into the heart of a southern swamp.  Write something set in --
the swamp.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Sensory Writing Prompt: Smell

In writing, it can important to involve and engage all of your reader's senses.  If you want your readers to experience something, you have to show them not tell them.  That's why today's writing prompt should answer this simple question:

What's that smell?

Welcome to Prompt Place!

Are you facing a vast expanse of empty computer screen or a completely empty sheet of paper? I feel your pain.  When words escape you, it can be tough. You want to make progress in your writing. But, you don't have a single word.  Don't despair!  We're here to help.

Writing is just like jogging.  Well, jogging without the sweat and knee problems.  Sometimes you need to warm up just a bit before embarking on an ambitious exercise program.  You wouldn't run a marathon without stretching, warming up, and training for it.

The aim of this blog is to help by providing writing prompts and pointing you to resources where you can get additional writing prompts.  We'll break things up with additional posts on writing and publishing.

Remington Rand Typewriter

Setting Writing Prompt: The Old Shack

America's countryside is littered with old houses, barns, and shacks.  Many of these are documented and explored in Abandoned Places pho...