Today’s prompt comes from editor Stuart Horwitz, author of the Book Architecture method and all-round top chap. If you get a chance to hear him talk at a writers’ conference or meeting, run, don’t walk! He’ll help you look at story structure in a whole new (and, in my opinion, more accessible) way than you’ve come across before. And possibly blow your head wide open, all the better for stories to fall out of it!
Write A Story Set In A Time Period You Connect With
- Find a time period in history that you connect with deeply. It could be the politics or the architecture or the cuisine or the religion that interests you.
- Now imagine that you are living in that time.
- What job do you do? How are you dressed? What kind of family relationships do you have? Is your life a happy or a sad one?
- What are the three main events of your life?
Stuart Horwitz is the founder and principal of Book Architecture, a firm of independent editors based in Providence, RI. Book Architecture’s clients have reached the best-seller list in both fiction and non-fiction, and have appeared on Oprah!, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, and in the most prestigious journals in their respective fields. His first book Blueprint Your Bestseller (Penguin/Perigee), was named one of the best books about writing by The Writer magazine. His third book, Finish Your Book in Three Drafts, will be released June 6th of this year.
JONATHAN MABERRY is a NY Times bestselling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer.
Today we’re kicking off StoryADay May 2016 with a prompt from the fabulous Jonathan Maberry. (If you have a chance to hear him speak at a writer’s conference/group/signing, go! You’ll be inspired to run home and write!)
When Terry began scrolling through her phone, none of the photos she found were hers.
JONATHAN MABERRY is a NY Times bestselling novelist, five-time Bram Stoker Award winner, and comic book writer. He writes the Joe Ledger thrillers, the Rot & Ruin series, the Nightsiders series, the Dead of Night series, as well as standalone novels in multiple genres. His new and upcoming novels include KILL SWITCH, the 8th in his best-selling Joe Ledger thriller series; VAULT OF SHADOWS, a middle-grade sf/fantasy mash-up; and MARS ONE, a standalone teen space travel novel. He is the editor of many anthologies including THE X-FILES, SCARY OUT THERE, OUT OF TUNE, and V-WARS. His comic book works include, among others, CAPTAIN AMERICA, the Bram Stoker Award-winning BAD BLOOD, ROT & RUIN, V-WARS, the NY Times bests-selling MARVEL ZOMBIES RETURN, and others. His books EXTINCTION MACHINE and V-WARS are in development for TV. A board game version of V-WARS was released in early 2016. He is the founder of the Writers Coffeehouse, and the co-founder of The Liars Club. Prior to becoming a full-time novelist, Jonathan spent twenty-five years as a magazine feature writer, martial arts instructor and playwright. He was a featured expert on the History Channel documentary, Zombies: A Living History and a regular expert on the TV series, True Monsters. He is one third of the very popular and mildly weird Three Guys With Beards pop-culture podcast. Jonathan lives in Del Mar, California with his wife, Sara Jo.
Jacob Tomsky is a best-selling writer and host of Short Story Thursdays, a weekly email dispatch that somehow manages to be snarky and sweet at the same time. (If you haven’t signed up to receive a story a week from Tomsky yet, do it now).
Read our interview with him, talking about how he moved from a short-story-hater to one of its best champions.
As you can see from the prompt below, Jacob has Opinions. Do not disappoint him.
Story told in first person or third person only. NO SECOND PERSON, GODDAMN IT.
Past tense. You can do current tense or whatever it’s called but that would piss me off too.
Prompt: Main character is being interviewed on television, live, for the first time ever. Story begins at the moment the camera goes live on the main character.
Today’s prompt comes from horror-and-paranormal author Phil Giunta. But just because it starts with gore, doesn’t mean you have to try to write the kind of story Phil might write. The magic of these kinds of prompts is in seeing what different writers do with the same prompt. If you write this one, why not post in our private forum, and let’s compare note!
You’re walking along a busy city street on your way to work. A short distance ahead, a well-dressed man approaches. He stands out from the crowd only because he is staggering and stumbling as if drunk, but it’s only 8:30 in the morning. As he draws closer, you notice that he has a swollen eye and a bloody nose. He collides with a parking meter and nearly falls over. No one comes to his aid, so you decide to take the initiative. You reach out to steady him and ask what happened…
About Phil Guinta
Phil Giunta‘s first novel, a paranormal mystery called Testing the Prisoner, debuted in 2010 from Firebringer Press. His second novel in the same genre, By Your Side, was released in 2013. Phil also narrated the audio versions of both books, available for free at Podiobooks.com. His short stories can be found in such anthologies as ReDeus: Divine Tales, ReDeus: Beyond Borders, and Somewhere in the Middle of Eternity (which he also edited).
Phil is currently editing the second book in the series, Elsewhere in the Middle of Eternity, which is slated for release in 2016 along with a paranormal mystery novella titled Like Mother, Like Daughters.