[Write on Wednesday] Day 1 Of Your New Routine: Madlibs

I know, it’s January 14 and you haven’t quite got that whole ‘Write Every Day’ thing down yet. I’m not sure many of us have.

So here’s a ‘story formula’ prompt to get you going again. Today is Day One of your new routine. Yes, you! You know I’m talking to you!

(Take heart! Any day can be Day One!).

Go through this exercise quickly and then write a fast & messy story from it. Have fun. No pressure! No standards! Post it, if you dare, in the comments!



Follow along with this exercise to get your creative juices flowing:

why do [these people] never [verb][nouns]?

(e.g. Why do corporate raiders never fall in love with the woman who owns the indy bookstore they are about to destroy? OR, my husband’s suggestion: “Why do chemists never eat broccoli?”)

What would happen if they suddenly did?

(e.g. What would happen if Tom Hanks fell in love with the adorkable indy bookseller? OR What would happen if a chemist suddenly tempted fate by eating the forbidden brassica?)

What if they stopped? What if they didn't?

(e.g. What if Tom Hanks resists Meg Ryan’s charms? OR What if Tom’s bosses tell him to break it off, but he doesn’t? Two different stories, no?)

What if their friends staged an intervention

(Imagine Tom’s bosses, or our chemist’s colleagues, sitting around in a room, ready to lay out the stakes for Tom, the chemist, and the story, not to mention the adorkable lady bookseller and/or the diminishing stores of broccolonium, the one potential source of Everything This Planet Needs, that non-chemists are wantonly chowing down on, right left and center!)

What if we walked into the room just before they decide how to respond?

(Take a moment to picture this in your mind. Who’s there? Who does it matter to?)

We can see [nouns]

(Who is there? Where are they? Standing? Sitting? What does their posture tell us? Where is our hero? What’s in the room with them? What does that lend to the atmosphere? What do the objects in the room tell us about the overall setting of the story? What do the objects tell us about the tone of the scene? Corporate furniture=an ambush. Cosy bookstore=Our hero on home turf)

We can hear [what?]. We can smell [what?]

(What details can you draw on to color in the scene for the reader?)

It feels...

(Is the atmosphere convivial? Is it adversarial? Are people witty? Are there undercurrents? What are those undercurrents?)

Start Your Story Now

 (Write anything! Except the broccoli story. That one’s mine!)

Bonus Points: Post your story in the comments. Read and comment on other people’s stories.

How did they turn out? Did you get something original and *you*? Did you write something different from everyone else?