Saturday, May 30, 2020

Science Fiction Writing Prompt: The Alien Shapeshifter

One recurring trope from mythology, horror, conspiracy, and science fiction is the shapeshifter.  The shapeshifter is a being that can change its physical form to mimic the form of anyone else or any other creature it sees.  There are endless varieties of shapeshifters in a variety of science fiction universes including Star Trek.  In the tinhat world of conspiracy theory, some have posited a reptilian race that can take human form and has infiltrated Earth politics and government.  

For this writing exercise, you need to come up with --

an alien being that can shapeshift and demonstrate that shapeshifting ability in a short story.

Painting by Daga Wennerström / CC BY-SA (

Monday, May 25, 2020

Writing Prompt: Remembering Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  While it informally marks the start of summer and vacation, it has a most important significance.  It is a day for remembering all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguard personnel that died in the service of our country.  In ordinary times, we would have ceremonies honoring fallen veterans at various war memorials and community centers all across the country.  Each life cut short in national service represents a family interrupted, foregone, or destroyed.  It's an important day.

For today's writing prompt, write a short story about --

war and/or its aftermath.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Writing Prompt: The Long Journey

Scientists and engineers agree that it might be a very long time before humanity can attain light-speed or faster-than-light-speed travel.  But, as astronomers find more and more exoplanets, there are clearly places we need to visit and things we need to see.  If we have to take a slow spaceship, the journey could even span generations.  I think most of us have some experience being locked down for awhile.  It's tough.  But, maybe we've learned a little about life in a confined space.  For today's writing prompt,---

design and launch a fictional starship on a multi-decade journey to the nearest exoplanet.

If you are Elon Musk or someone like that, feel free to launch a real starship. 

Graphic by Nevadawest / CC0


Sunday, May 17, 2020

Writing Prompt: The Frame Job

Most of us are fortunate not to have to deal with people who lack empathy like sociopaths or psychopaths.  We are fortunate that don't often encounter the seriously deviant and devious.  But, there are people who could meet you in person, look you in the eyes, appear to be your friend, and then still intentionally take action that would devastate your life.  These are the people who would try to get you fired at work, seduce your significant other, or frame you for a crime.

For today's writing prompt, create a short piece of fiction where one person tries to--

frame another person for a crime.

Photo by Basotxerri / CC BY-SA (

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Writing Prompt: The Hungry Time Traveller

Time travel is a common theme in Science Fiction.  What would it be like to travel into the future and return?  What would it be like to travel into the past?  What would you change?  What problems would you cause?  The many paradoxes of time travel provide for endless writing prompts.  Some of them are real head scratchers and would keep theoretical physicists and philosophers busy for hours.  However, I'm merely a prompt writer.  For today's writing prompt, if you could travel backwards or forwards in time, describe your --

dining experience in the past or the future!
Photo by delorean rental / CC BY-SA (

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Four Word Writing Prompt: Tires and Velocity

Sometimes it only takes a few words to get your writing engine started.  For today's writing prompt, construct a short piece of fiction that includes the following words:


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...