For Thursday, August 7
Write a poem or flash fiction piece that includes a sunset.
Playing off of yesterday’s post, try incorporating yesterday’s suggestions or work with some of these.
1. Write from the point of view of someone on the boat or on the island in the photo. Imagine they are eager for the sun to set. Why?
2. Write about the most dramatic sunset you’ve ever seen.
3. Write about waiting in relation to the sunset.
4. Sunsets are often symbols of conclusion or contentment. Try writing a piece in which a sunset conjures up opposite feelings, perhaps of new beginnings, agitation, or anticipation.
For Wednesday, August 6
Write a poem or flash fiction piece that includes a sunrise.
1. If there’s a person involved, write about their interior state of mind.
2. Write about the most dramatic sunrise you’ve ever seen.
3. Write about waiting in relation to a sunrise.
4. Sunrises are often signs of hope or renewal. Try writing a piece in which a sunrise conjures up opposite feelings, perhaps of frustration, disappointment, or despair.
For Tuesday, August 5
Write a poem or flash fiction piece that revolves an unusual object, one that is particularly odd, chilling, or mildly gruesome.
1. Make your opening line a clear, simple description of the object: Snakes in a jar. A rusty pile of nails. A broken marionette.
2. Are you afraid to touch it? Is your character shocked to see?
3. Does it raise concerns? Bring back memories?
For Friday, August 1, 2014
Write in the voice of one of your ancestors.
Tell a story in their voice that describes a great difficulty.
Describe a small triumph.
If you don’t a strong sense of an ancestor, imagine how they might have talked or write pure fiction.
For Monday, August 4, 2014
Write an overheard conversation that takes place in this parking lot.
For Saturday, August 2, 2014
You receive an unexpected package in the mail. Continue reading
Sunday August 3
You are on a train. This is what you see when you look out the window.
Write in response for 15 minutes.
Imagine this is where you (or your character) lived 10, 20, or 30 years ago. You haven’t been back since. Write what goes through your mind.
This is your next stop. Write about what happens when you disembark from the train.
This is where you last saw your brother. Write about that. (Variations: This is where you last saw your father. Your best friend. Your army buddy. Your youngest child.)
Write a poem, flash fiction piece or the beginning of a story inspired by this photo.
Incorporate at least four of these words: rough pie slant oboe smooth dirt bolt round home worn road deserted once must broom
Write for 15 minutes.
Wednesday, July 28, 2014 • Prompt #87
The element of time often adds suspense and welcome tension to writing. For this prompt, write about two people who agree to meet under this clock at 3 p.m.
Suggestions and Considerations
- Describe the day’s weather. How does that influence the story?
- Do the two people already know each other?
- Is one person new to the City? Is one a long-time resident?
- Why have they chosen the clock as a meeting place?
- Write for 15 minutes.
More Writing Options
- Write a piece where one person is wealthy and one is broke.
- Write about an illegal or illicit transaction.
- Write a piece in which the second person never arrives.
- Write a piece in which the second person brings a third person.
- Write a piece in which the first person is holding a box.
Tuesday, July 27, 2014 • Prompt #86
Write a poem or flash fiction piece inspired by a vintage illustration of an animal. Click here for illustrations or look for prints at a used book shop or library.
- Use specific, concrete details.
- Capture a moment in time.
- As (almost) always, use sensory details.
More Writing Options
- Try shifting perspective once or twice within the work.
- Write the piece as a traditional ode.
- Write as if you are someone who has never seen this animal before.
Here’s a piece I wrote influenced by both a bear safety pamphlet and this bear illustration.
twigs bugs fruit insects fish carrion.
Look for these signs:
of decayed logs stumps and berry patches.
Tooth and claw high on trees.
She is not far off.
bears do not go
into true hibernation.
Sleep is not deep
a few degrees
in caves, crevices,
Den with me.
© Ellen Orleans 2012