Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Four Word Writing Prompt: New Years Eve

The New Year is upon us.  For many of us, it is a time to set forth goals, make plans, and get ready for a year of accomplishment.  It's time to make New Year's Resolutions.  In honor of that tradition, I've come up with a four-word prompt.  But, I suspect you could twist it about to make quite a few different stories.

1999-2000 New Years Eve on Times Square in NYC Photo by Rob Boudon [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]
For today's writing prompt, come up with a piece of short fiction that incorporates each of the following words:

cheese cake

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Writing Prompt: To Play or Not To Play

It's bowl game season for American college football teams.  Teams that have performed well are invited to Bowl Games that are often in far away cities and they get to play teams from other conferences.  It's a chance for teams to burnish their records with one more win, to celebrate seasons of accomplishment, and to experience the best that the host city and corporate sponsors have to offer in terms of food, recreational outings, and other perks.  

Vintage Gator Bowl Game Program - Gator Bowl [Public domain]

However, for some star athletes who are ready to leave college football behind to join the professional ranks of the National Football League (NFL), bowl games pose a dilemma.  Some of them opt not to play in the Bowl Game in order to avoid injury and start training for the NFL draft.  These star athletes have to decide whether or not they want to play in the bowl game or not.  Playing provides them with one more chance to polish their highlight reels and impress the pro scouts.  It also gives them the opportunity to close out the season with their team and finish what they started.  But, if they get a debilitating injury, they may miss their chance to play in the NFL entirely and they may miss out on the millions of dollars that playing in the NFL may bring them and their families.  Still, it must be hard to let your team down.  It's a tough call.

For today's writing prompt, write a short piece of fiction about an athlete who must answer the question -

To Play or Not to Play? 

For a special challenge to writers who spend entirely too much time in front of the computer, get a ball, go outside, and play.  (Safety tip:   Just toss the ball around or play two-hand touch football.)

Friday, December 27, 2019

Writing Prompt: The Door

As the New Year approaches, we are all presented with new opportunities.  As one door closes, a new one opens, and all that sort of thing.  Sometimes the doors we see are interesting.  Sometimes the doors are fortified and secured.  For today's writing prompt, write a piece of flash fiction about this

 door and what lies beyond!

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Writing Prompt: The Grouch

Everyone knows the story in the popular Dr. Seuss book "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."  It's a popular Christmas story trope.  A grouchy person is actively against Christmas and all the celebrations that surround the holiday.  Will they find the Christmas spirit?  Will the grouch ruin Christmas for everyone?  There are so many questions and they usually have to answered in some sort of animated Christmas television special.

Today, your daily writing prompt is to write a short story or bit of flash fiction that centers around a --

Grouch on Christmas

Photo by The U.S. Army [Public domain]

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas Writing Prompt: The Preposterous Gift

It's hard to buy gifts for Christmas.  You want the best for folks, but budgets are tight.  You don't know what to get.  You don't know what would be well received.  When you ask for guidance, you don't get much helpful advice.  It's frustrating.  If it's frustrating to us, it has to be even more frustrating for Santa.  But, for today's exercise, let's focus on the receiver of gifts.  Have you ever gotten a crazily inappropriate gift for Christmas?  Here's a Christmas song of a little girl making an inappropriate gift request.

What if she actually received a hippopotamus for Christmas?  What if you actually received a hippopotamus for Christmas?  I'm not sure what I'd do with a hippopotamus!  For today's writing prompt, write a piece of flashfiction about someone actually 

getting a hippopotamus or 
something equally preposterous!

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Christmas Writing Prompt: Elf in a Story

Everyone jokes about the popular Christmas toy, Elf on Shelf, and there must be a million memes devoted to this annoying little elf, but there don't seem to be many actual stories about him.  Fortunately, the writing community is well-positioned to correct that shortage.  For today's writing prompt, write a short story about --

a toy elf that comes to life before Christmas.

Elf on a Shelf - photo by An Errant Knight [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

It just wouldn't be Christmas without a story about an Elf on a Shelf!  For extra for fun, check out all the questions about this product on Amazon!

For a Christmas read check out this indie classic by Cristina van Deventer: 

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Four Word Writing Prompt: A Christmas Tale

The Christmas Season is well under way.  Tis the time to write stories about that old fat man and his sleigh.  For today's writing prompt, here's four words to work into a Christmas Story.


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Military Thriller Writing Prompt: The Russians Are Coming!

For military thrillers and international spy novels, Tom Clancy was hard to beat.  I loved his early works like Red Storm Rising, The Hunt for Red October, and Patriot Games.  He was an amazing writer and, even after his death, his brand lives on with a number of contributing authors writing books inspired by his ideas and characters.

For today's writing exercise, let's draw on Tom Clancy for inspiration.  There is a Russian invasion under way.  It must be repulsed.  If the Russians were fighting the United States or NATO, it might be an easy epic to write.  But, let's not make it easy, instead the Russians are invading Sweden.  For today's writing exercise, write a short piece of fiction from a fight between one of the world's most liberal countries and a resurgent Russia.  Today's writing prompt is short fiction from the -

Fight for Scandinavia

Here are a few cool videos of the Swedes in action.

As a smaller power, the Swedes plan for a guerilla war in the skies.  Here's a Saab Gripen fighter making a pit stop on a country road.

When the skies are full of enemy aircraft and the seas are full of hostile ships, the Swedes don't want to be seen.  Here's a stealthy corvette from the Swedish Navy.

Good luck prospective techno-thriller writers!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Four Word Writing Prompt: The Christmas Season

It's the holiday season and the season for writing prompts.  Realizing that after nanowrimo many of you don't want to even look at a keyboard, we'll keep this one short and sweet.  Here's four words typically associated with Christmas.  For today's writing prompt, let's use them in a bit of seasonal flash fiction!


Reindeer of the Suomi near Inari, Finland - Photo by Lukas Riebling [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)]

Monday, December 2, 2019

Photo Writing Prompt: A Viking Adventure

Long, long, ago in a land very far away, my ancestors may have been Vikings. It would have cold, dangerous, and rigorous way to live. But, it would have had its advantages. No one every dawdled in the line at Starbucks during the Viking Era. As soon as someone started asking questions about soy milk someone would have smote them on the spot. For today's writing exercise, let's write a tale of three Vikings on a longship!  We'll use this not so ancient Scandinavian table linen for inspiration.

Scandinavian Table Linens

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...