One of the most common (and most overlooked) pieces of writing advice is to use the five senses.
This month I’m going to use the five weekly writing prompts to encourage you to get more sensory detail into your writing by focusing on one sense per week.
Write a story in which a non-assertive character is stuck in a situation with other people who know less than they do and keep proposing the wrong solution to a problem. Make as many of your descriptions and metaphors smell-based as possible.
In keeping with this month’s theme of Achieving Wins and Celebrating, limit yourself to 1000 words for this story and just get it done.
Write a story that starts at the end. The story must include a flower.
I’ve given you the restriction of including a flower, because when we have too much freedom it is paralyzing. I bet as soon as I said ‘flower’ your mind starting turning over how it could get a flower into a story.
Starting at the end is a fun way to tell a story. It’s a fun for the reader, as they try to unpick the puzzle of how your character ended up *here*. It’s good for the writer because we aren’t tempted to write a story-with-no-point. We know it’s going somewhere and we have to figure out how to get there!
All our stories should be about something, should hvae a point, should make the reader say ‘ah, yes, I must keep reading to find out why…”. Often, in the process of writing our ideas, we forget this, or get lost in the details. Telling a story in reverse (or at least starting at the end and jumping back in time) is a great exercise to cure us of this.
Brainstorm some ways your story could start that would intrigue a reader. Is your character standing on the roof of a building looking over the edge? Are they running? Are the police leading them away? Are they laughing gleefully as someone plunges a knife through their heart? (Yes, more Star Trek references! Bonus points if you can identify the episode.)
The Prompt: Write the story of an inanimate object.
This prompt was inspired by a conversation with a StoryADay Superstar who had been waiting for a package to arrive for weeks. We speculated about what it had been up to on its travels, and now it’s your turn.
This year I’m thinking more about the actual writing: how to write the middle of a story.
The inspiration for this prompt is unashamedly borrowed from James Scott Bell’s immensely readable ebook Write Your Novel From The Middle. It’s well worth the few dollars to pick up a copy of this book.
Even if you don’t have your copy yet, you can use Bell’s revelation that the middle of a story often involves a moment of introspection, to strengthen your short story writing today.
Write a literal or figurative Mirror Moment into the middle of your story.
This month’s writing prompts all acknowledge the fact that November belongs to novelists. Whether you write longer fiction or you don’t you can use this month’s prompts to nudge you forward in your writing practice.
Take an idea you have thought “I could write a novel about that” and test it as a short story
Two characters (or more if you wish) are spending their first night in a new home (or apartment, hotel, dorm…you decide).
And the first character says, “You know, they say this place is haunted…”
This week’s prompt comes from writer and artist Marta Petrine-Bacon, a self-professed fan of all things October-ish. You can find her novel, her art and her beautiful handmade notebooks (with appropriately spooky art) in her Etsy Shop WhereWordsAreStudio
Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!
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