Sept. 30 – A Dozen Roses

The Prompt

Jeff  was walking to the parking garage after work when he comes upon a flower stand full of beautiful roses. Jeff decides to buy a dozen roses for his lover. 

Go!

Deanna Denny is retired after many years of working in Human Resources. She became interested in writing in 2014 and started her blog with opinion pieces but has since been exploring different forms of writing. She has taken Writing 101 through WordPress, and Gentle Introduction to Meter through Allpoetry.  Deanna will be joining the Story A Day challenge to adventure into short stories. You can follow Deanna’s journey into writing at deannadenny.com.

Be sure to leave a comment below.

 

Sept 29 – Tension Tuesday

Endings

So, our thirty day journey of exploration is almost over. For an easier wind down, todays prompt takes the form of … an ending! Sometimes it can be easier to start a story at the end rather than the beginning. At least you know what you are working towards!

The Prompt

 In no more than 600 words write the ending of a story. This is effectively the final scene, the denouement, the resolution or however you want the story to end. This is still a Tension Tuesday prompt, so we need to know how all the tension has been dealt with.

Tips

  • Try to write a very short summary or synopsis of your story (50 words maximum) so that this can offer guidance to how we’ve ended up here. It will also be helpful next month (Thursday!) when you can re-visit this prompt and think about writing the rest of the story.
  • It is probably advisable to limit the amount of dialogue in the conclusion. Narrative will allow you to explain more in a shorter number of words, but don’t forget to SHOW not TELL!
  • Some dialogue might add power to the ending and enable you to show the main character’s feelings about the outcome.
  • There is no need to explain everything, after all this is the ending and hopefully the reader will have read the rest of the story, before alighting at this point.
  • The ending still needs TENSION and INTRIGUE, and DRAMA.

OK, now stop thinking about the opening paragraph and start writing!

Malcolm Richardson has been writing creatively for the last ten years. After a slow start focussing on a novel, which is still only half completed he has concentrated on short stories over the last few years. One day the novel may be resurrected, but his current focus is entering short stories in competitions. Malcolm is a latecomer to blogging, but his Story a Day stories can be found here.

Make sure to post a comment below, with a link to your story.

Sept 28 — See, Hear, Smell

Today, take a few minutes to notice your surroundings (you can do this at home, but going out may work better): Write down five things you see, five sounds you hear and three to five smells.

The Prompt:

Write a story with a character who has a difficult decision to make. Put this character in the setting you observed and use your sensory detail in the story.

Tips:

  • Your setting doesn’t have to be the literal place where you collected your details. Turn it into a fiction if it works better for your story.
  • I left out touch because depending on where you are, touching stuff might be out of the question. But add tactile details if you can.
  • Use the details as reminders of what the character has to do.
  • Use them as distractions.
  • Use them to present a solution.
  • Difficult decisions don’t have to be huge: your character might be an old person who’d like to get a dog but who can’t walk well anymore. Will the character choose more loneliness or physical discomfort?

Now go write!

Sonya Oldwin publishes a 100-word story every day – yep, it’s as crazy as it sounds.  

Don’t forget to share a link to your story in the comments below.

Sept 27 — Lost and Found

Today’s prompt is exactly what it says on the tin: lost and found.

The Prompt: 

Write about something that has been lost and then found.

  • What has been lost? It could be something concrete, like a set of keys, a city, or a murder weapon. It could be a person, maybe a husband or a baby. Or maybe it’s something intangible: dignity, love, a sense or purpose, or the feeling of safety.
  • In what sense has this thing been lost? Has it simply been missing? Has it been driven away? Stolen?
  • What are the consequences of losing this thing?
  • How long was this thing lost? Five minutes, five months, five years?
  • How has it been found? Was it found in the same state as when it was lost, or was it changed? Perhaps the lost thing did not change, but your protagonist’s relationship to it did.
  • Think about the feelings that loss provokes. Sadness, disappointment, anger, panic? Or, on the flip side, maybe it’s relief.
  • And how does your character feel about finding what was missing? Joy, comfort, hope? Consternation, annoyance, shock?
  • This prompt can be as dramatic or as subtle as you want to make it.

Go and create some reunions!

I hope everyone has been finding these prompts productive. Best wishes for the rest of Story a Day September – you’re almost there!

The Secret – 26 Sep 2015

Lots of  people have been party to a secret at some point, either one they’ve been told or one they have tried to keep and this is today’s focus.

The Prompt

The Secret.  Your character has one, or knows about one. Will it be kept, or disclosed?

Tips

No not this time.   Today it’s completely your call.

Go ahead, have fun and write…

 

Vanessa ‘Rosie V’ Cooper is mum to five and Nanna to two wonderful (though rather noisy and ‘full on’) children/grandchildren. In Feb 2016 she will begin a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing with The Open University.    Check out how she’s faring so far at one of the two sites she is gradually building up: Rosie Speaks About… or The Book Lover.

Sept 25 – Friday Favourites 4

Hi, all! It’s Monique with the last “Friday Favourite,” a prompt that is a generic premise for a story that is also the description of a classic (or favourite!) novel. The month has gone by so quickly! I was too busy to do as much as I had hoped, but I have a lot of story ideas sketched out, if nothing else.

In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the story of Dr Frankenstein and his Monster is told within a frame story. The frame, at the beginning and end of the novel, is a series of letters. Captain Walton writes to his sister while on a mission to explore the North Pole. He is ambitious and in search of fame. While on the trip, Walton meets Victor Frankenstein who recognizes in Walton these harmful characteristics that he shares and relates his story as a means of demonstrating the possible (or inevitable) negative consequences of them.

The story demonstrates how a flaw — like overarching ambition — can lead to an error in judgement that has a final, tragic result. The framing story of Captain Walton reinforces the theme, making it all the more powerful.

The Prompt

Write a story that revolves around a character with a ‘fatal flaw’ who, as a result, commits a fatal error that has a tragic result. Use a frame story to reinforce the flaw.
(Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley)

Tips

Another clear example of the flaw/error/tragic result storyline is Macbeth. Macbeth has excessive ambition (flaw) and, as a result, kills King Duncan (error). As a result, there is a lot of death and madness.

In Frankenstein, the frame story is told in the form of letters. You can use letters (or emails), diary entries, or something else entirely.

Many characteristics can become ‘fatal flaws’ in the right situation. While ambition is not necessarily negative, it can overcome someone’s better judgement. In the same way, attachment to a person or object can become unhealthy obsession.

Have fun!

Monique Cuillerier has always loved to write. She also enjoys procrastination. These two interests are frequently in conflict. Her stories have appeared in Round Up Writer’s Zine, Black Heart Magazine, (parenthetical), and elsewhere. She blogs sporadically (although more frequently during Story A Day!) at notwhereilive.ca

September 24 – Three Micro Stories

Today you’re not just going to write one story. You’re going to write three!

The Prompt

Click on this photo.

Flickr Commons Gallery

Flick through the gallery and pick the first three pictures that catch your attention. Now, write a short, 50-100 word story for each. No more than 100 words each.

Tips

  • Your stories can link together or not.
  • You may discover a theme that ties them together as you write the stories. You may discover it afterwards. You may never discover a common thread among the three pictures you write about. (Your readers might.)
  • Try doing something different for each story. Make one a monologue, one a fragment of conversation, another a more traditional narrative telling the reader something about the incident/person in the story.
  • Do this as quickly as you can. Don’t spend any time wondering why you picked the pictures or whether what you’re writing is strictly a ‘story’. Just work fast and move on.
  • You don’t have to write about three. If you find yourself writing a longer story inspired by one of the pictures, feel free to continue.
  • You don’t have to tell the story of the person in the picture. The key is to write something ‘inspired by’ the picture. It could be someone telling the story of his grandmother (pictured) or it could a story that evokes the emotions you felt when you looked at the picture.
  • You can write more than three if you feel inspired. Just keep them short. I’m interested in seeing what ideas pour out of your heads, after three full weeks of writing a story a day.
  • Try to let us know which pictures you used for which story, if you’re sharing your stories online.

Go!

Sept. 23 – The Attic

The Prompt

Before she knew it, she was just another set of eyes in a dusty attic, waiting for the stairs to creak.

Go!

Deanna Denny is retired after many years of working in Human Resources. She became interested in writing in 2014 and started her blog with opinion pieces but has since been exploring different forms of writing. She has taken Writing 101 through WordPress, and Gentle Introduction to Meter through Allpoetry.  Deanna will be joining the Story A Day challenge to adventure into short stories. You can follow Deanna’s journey into writing at deannadenny.com.

Be sure to leave a comment below.

Sept 22 – Tension Tuesday

The Family Gathering!

For todays Tense Tuesday prompt we are exploring that time honoured ritual … the family gathering. Why is it an occasion that should be relaxing and carefree so often induces so much tension and stress? It might be Christmas, a birthday celebration, a summer barbecue, a christening, a wedding or even a funeral.

The Prompt

 Write a short story about a family gathering where things don’t quite work out as expected. It can be a social event at work or a family holiday that goes spectacularly wrong, you choose.

Tips

  • For this exercise it is probably best not to have too many characters, maybe a couple of main characters and two or three subsidiary ones.
  • It can be any genre you like; even dragon families, zombies and aliens fall out with one another!
  • You could make it some of your ancestors, how did family gatherings go wrong in times gone by?

OK, now stop trying to pacify Aunt Maud and start writing!

Malcolm Richardson has been writing creatively for the last ten years. After a slow start focussing on a novel, which is still only half completed he has concentrated on short stories over the last few years. One day the novel may be resurrected, but his current focus is entering short stories in competitions. Malcolm is a latecomer to blogging, but his Story a Day stories can be found here.

Make sure to post a comment below, with a link to your story.

Sept. 21 — Running Away

Today your character is in trouble. I mean really BIG trouble.

In fact, your main character (mc) has had enough. So he (or she) is going to do it.

Run away, that is.

The Prompt

Your character is being forced into something they do not want to do: an arranged marriage, eating their broccoli (!), working for someone they know is evil. So he or she is running away to avoid it. Suddenly there’s voices nearby/a light flashes on/someone steps into the passage ahead…Your character stops, heart pounding, afraid of discovery.

What happens next? Only you know the answer…

So get writing! I’m dying of curiosity over here! 🙂

Leslie Marie Dawson is an indie author, blogger and artist who revels in stories of fantasy, romance, and comedy. She can be found hiding in her hermit cave with her laptop, a stack of good books, and a glass of water (sadly she’s given up soda). Please stop by her Hermit’s Cave to see the cool things she makes!

Don’t forget to comment below and share what you wrote!