[Writing Prompt] 640 Words

So how did you get on yesterday?

Did you write? Did you leave a comment on the blog post, or do your Victory Dance?

Hooray, you’ve made it to Saturday. I hope you’re one of those lucky people for whom Saturday means a break from the regular responsibilities of the week. But likely you’re not. So: tough. We’re writers and we write whether we’re on ‘vacation’ from real life or not 😉

Today we’re striking a happy medium between the lengths of story we’ve played with already.

The Prompt

Write A Story of 640 Words


  • This is about the length of a newspaper column (remember them?). Enough room to tell a story but not much room for florid language.
  • Pay attention as you write, to how long it’s taking you to write, on average. This will help you set realistic goals about how much time you really need to set aside to produce good creative work.
  • Pay attention to your writing style as you write today. Which length of story has felt more comfortable to you?
  • Make sure you finish all your stories this week. Even if you have to write “[FILL IN DETAILS HERE LATER]”, try to get to the end of the story every time. Have you been finishing your stories? What has this taught you about getting to the meat of the story quickly?



(And don’t forget to celebrate when you’re finished, by commenting below or doing your victory dance.)

[Guest Prompt] Therese Walsh – Magnetic Words

THERESE WALSH is the author of The Moon Sisters and the cofounder of Writer Unboxed. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.

The Prompt

Imagine your protagonist has just opened a large magnetic poetry kit. Which words call to him/her? Will s/he put these words on the refrigerator in a random scattering or compose a sentence? Share your words and sentences here.


  • If you don’t have a magnetic poetry set (what?!) you can play online
  • You can write a whole story based on the words you select or you can show the scene where they select words.


[Writing Prompt] 100 Words

So how did you get on yesterday?

Did you write? Did you leave a comment on the blog post, or do your Victory Dance?

Whatever you  managed yesterday, congratulations and I’m glad you’re back for more!

Continuing the theme of ‘assuming you have more than one idea of a time’ this week, I’m giving you another length-based writing assignment.

The Prompt

Write A Drabble (A Story Of Exactly 100 Words)


  • Just because you’re limited to 100 words, don’t think this is going to be any less a creative exercise than any other story you write this month.
  • Allow as much time for this as you would for a longer story.
  • Don’t be surprised if you find yourself writing more and then paring the story back.
  • It’s very common to cut out lots of words from the start of short stories. Sometimes we have to write a lot to figure out where the story really starts. Don’t be afraid to ‘start late’.
  • You can’t explain much in a 100 word story. Allow the reader to fill in some blanks. Stories of this length are very much a collaboration between reader and writer.


[Writing Prompt] Guest Prompt from Neil Gaiman

The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil GaimanFortunately The Milk by Neil Gaiman
Welcome To StoryADay May 2014!

To kick off our 5th Year of writing a StoryADay in May, I have a special treat for you: a guest prompt from the fabulous Neil Gaiman.

On the day I contacted him he was, sadly for him, stuck in an airport. The prompt he suggested for us was pretty heartfelt:

The Prompt from Neil Gaiman

Getting Home


  • This is a wide-open prompt. You could use it to write tragedy, comedy, satire, slapstick, sci-fi, fantasy, realistic fiction….anything you want.
  • Think of a character desperate to get home. What is stopping them? What is their most basic reaction? (Frustration is a wonderful way to strip away a character’s layers and show us what they are like at their core. In Mr Gaiman’s case I would suggest that he is basically a generous and decent human being. Instead of responding to my request, he could just as easily have cursed, deleted my email and put me on a list of spammers… What will your character do?)
  • For the first day of StoryADay May I always suggest writing a really short story. It’s a great way to warm up, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the beginning of a story and find yourself heading into a 3,000 word behemoth. You’ll never be able to sustain that pace for the whole month, so start small. Start with a victory.
  • Aim to write no more than 1200 words. That gives you 300 words to establish the scene and your character, 700 words to make things happen, complicate things, create a crisis/climax, and 200 words to wrap it all up.


When you finish your story today, leave a comment below, or join the Victory Dance group in the community and share you thoughts about the first day, there. (Haven’t joined the community yet? Join here

Thanks again, Mr Gaiman. I hope you got home all right…


[Writing Prompt] 1200 Words

Welcome to StoryADay May.

It’s Day 1. You’re nervous, you’re excited, you’re full of ideas…(you are, aren’t you?), so I’m not going to tell you WHAT to write, only how much.

(And of course, you should remember that these prompts are entirely optional. If you want to write a 10,000 word novella today, you go right ahead. Just remember to save some juice for tomorrow!)

engine start by Norlando Pobre
photo used by permission of Norlando Pobre

The Prompt Continue reading “[Writing Prompt] 1200 Words”

A Month Of Writing Prompts – The eBook!


A Month Of Writing Prompts 2014

Writing a story a day for a month is a crazy endeavour, but one that hundreds of writers have signed up for every May since 2010. During month of courageous creativity, writers learn how to write every day (not ‘someday’), how to craft a story, how to write in different forms, how to fail and dust themselves off, and write again.
Are you ready to join them?
The StoryADay Month of Writing Prompts book shares the daily writing prompts for StoryADay May 2014: 31 writing prompts, meditations, lessons and pep talks to accompany on your journey to becoming a more prolific, creative and fulfilled writer.
Use these prompts during the StoryADay challenge, or any time you need a creativity boost.