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  1. Do you want to read or listen to music for fun? I understand perfectly. After all, what's the point otherwise? We ask too little of our art these days. We want it to give us a few laughs. We like to be entertained, maybe excited or even frightened. We don't often ask that it teach us anything and that's a shame. That's what art is for. It's supposed to challenge you, disturb you, open your eyes, expand your consciousness and understanding. There is another level to reading and listening. Stuff that burns a little. Might leave a mark or cuts you a little. Things at the edge that are heavy and scary and might be uncomfortable to look at. There are things that tickle your fancy and things that stretch your soul. If you are curious or adventurous enough, you might hear the call. What's over that next hill? Is it dangerous? Will it hurt? YES. You grow through discomfort. You understand by observation and experience. You learn by pain. Afraid? YES. Everyone is afraid. It defines our times. The challenge: Listen to the song. Read the lyrics. Understand- even if it's uncomfortable. There is stuff and there is art. Stuff doesn't teach you a damned thing. Art opens your eyes and expands your consciousness. This is an exercise in seeing the difference. The challenge is behind the spoiler. Are you up for it? BE WARNED. Here there be dragons.
  2. Description Create a scene where the main character is exhausted. Make it clear to any reader how tired the character is. However, you may not use the words tired, exhausted, sleepy, or worn out.
  3. Write a love story, but you are forbidden from using the words “I love you.”
  4. Every writer has a time where they need to create a scene around something uncomfortable. This can be someone being fired, a death in the family, or breakup. Your challenge is to create such a scene and include as much detail as you can. What is the setting? What can we see or hear? Is the person sweating or can we smell antiseptic? Involve as many of the senses as you can in your scene and bring it to life.
  5. Here is the challenge. Remember your favorite toy as a child? Think about it. What did it smell like? Feel like? Look like? Describe it in as much detail as you can without giving the name of it away. Use as many senses as you can.
  6. There are many genres of books and stories. The challenge is to write a Travel story. You tell a story about traveling, the places you see, the things you experience, and the things you shouldn’t miss.
  7. Hope everyone has had a great week so far and is looking forward to the weekend. What better way to start it off than with brand new prompts! If you've been feeling stuck, or maybe just want to do something a little different, maybe one of these prompts will jump start a new idea. Just remember, prompt responses under 1,000 words must be posted as part of a collection. Also, to make it so that nobody feels like their prompt response is getting overlooked, we've changed the format. Rather than us picking the prompt responses to share, authors can share their response in the comments. Provide a small excerpt and a link and help people find your prompts! Prompt 592 - Challenge Tag – Details Describe your favorite object. Try to use as many senses as you can in your description, making the details come alive for your reader. Prompt 593 – Creative Tag – First Line What did you promise this time? So, did you write a prompt response last week? Share it with us!
  8. Situational writing Now for something a little different. Your scene is created based on what happened to you last. Who was the last person you talked to? They are now your main character. What is the sitting on your kitchen table? That what the scene needs to revolve around. Where is your favorite place to go in your town? Blend the three parts into a story.
  9. The Customer We’ve all seen that one person who causes a scene at a store or restaurant. Create a scene with “that customer” who flips out and demands everyone’s attention so they can try to get their way. How outrageous can you go and still make it believable?
  10. DescriptionMost times as a writer we will skip or give the bare minimum of a description so we can move ahead to what we want to tell. Then a reader begins asking for details and we realize what is lively in our imaginations begins to fall flat on the written page. Look out your window and focus on one action, animal, person, or plant. Now write about it including as many details as you can, but keep the scene you are creating moving, not stagnant. In other words, don’t go “Alice, 5’7’ tall, stood approximately two feet from her property line, bouncing a faded rubber ball for exactly five minutes in green shorts and yellow shirt.”
  11. A crime has been committed and you’ve been called in to work on the case. Everything seems to point to one character, but you figure out it is all a setup. Explain the mystery to your superior and how you solved the case.
  12. Right about your day from the point of view of your pet. If you don’t have a pet do it from the point of view of a spider that has built its web in your home.
  13. Your challenge is to step out of your comfort zone and to write a SciFi piece. This can be any flavor of story you want, but it has to have a recognizable SciFi feel to it. A Prompt to help get you started: You live in an era of Human Augmentation is the norm. From Cybernetics to Gene Resequencing to Chemical Augmentation, all available for any price. Of course, the good stuff is reserved for the government. What is it like to live in this world, where someone can change the very fabric of who they are, with enough credits?
  14. Emotion No one enjoys dealing with the sad emotions. A breakup, a death, or even a serious illness can put a character through hell. Create a scene where your character is given some bad news and what happens when they are alone and process it. Remember to show and not tell. Bring the anguish alive for the reader.
  15. Write from the POV of a stack of paper sitting near the shredder.
  16. Your challenge is to write a rhopalic sentence of at least 10 words. That is to say, a sentence in which each word is one letter longer than the preceding word.
  17. For some reason I have always loved idioms. An idiom (if you don't know) is an everyday expression that's not supposed to be taken literally, but the phrasing creates a meaning of its own. For example: It's raining cats and dogs. Actions speak louder than words. To smell a rat. AND my new favorite one is A squeaky wheel gets the grease. So, my challenge is to come up with your own idiom, then list it and its meaning. I'll post one later too.
  18. create definitions for the following words: squirmish flexting misinfotainment fomo intaxication brainspin buysexual sharewear recessionitis interneuter My Example (there is no right or wrong, all can be found on the urban dictionary, but I'll know if you were cheating)
  19. Write a 26-word story where every word begins with a different letter of the alphabet.
  20. Pick a location. What is the normal activity there? Now write a scene where the most opposite thing happens. Example - Child's nursery - normally a child plays and sleeps in this room - The room is being used for storage of old people waiting to die.
  21. The sidekick is the one the hero or villain turns to. They can be the best friend, the comedy break, or the sounding board for the ideas. Whether it is Dr. Watson to Sherlock Holmes, Ethel to Lucy, or Mini Me to Dr. Evil these characters exist and are an important part of the story. What sort of sidekick would you create? Look over your short stories and create one of your own.
  22. Remember the last argument you got into? Change it into a story about two other people. The challenge is to tell the story from the other person’s point of view.
  23. The idea of a Mirror Universe isn't a new one. There you find a world so similar but yet so different. Now it is your turn to turn a universe on its ear. Pick a story you have written that is short and something you enjoy. Now alter one major event that happened that would completely alter the story. Now retell it. Ex - In your original story the vampire hero is out to avenge his murdered love. What would happen if instead the love had betrayed him? Or In your original tale your hero was the son of well to do parents and falls for a man of modest means. What would happen if they were killed and he was made a pauper instead? How would your story now play out? Good Luck.
  24. Take a look at a short story you have written and enjoyed. Now rewrite this tale from a minor character's point of view. What things will the new character notice and miss because they don't see all the action the main character did. Will it make the former main character more heroic or seem sort of a heel? Enjoy.
  25. In a few paragraphs give a description of character you are creating. However you are forbidden from actually giving straight facts on the character. In other words no, I’m Sandy Oliver, I’m five foot two, a virgin, terrified of telling my dad I might like girls. Instead find different ways to give the reader the same sense of things without just spitting it out. So that instead of what was there earlier you might have something like this – I sat in the girl’s locker room taking off my school uniform and could just make out Olive on the back of it. My school had all our last names on the back of our uniforms but the mud covered over the “r” in my own. It looked so small sitting next to Tina’s but then I guess mine would look small next to nearly any of theirs. Thinking of Tina made me blush as I imagined what it might be like to kiss her, and I was just happy my father wasn’t around to notice how I looked at her during practice. God, why couldn’t I be normal? “Yo, Sandy? You going to shower before you head home or not?” I blushed as Tina called from the showers. “Be right there,” I called as I hurried to join the rest of the softball team cleaning up.
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