[Write On Wednesday] Fool’s Errand

This week a major art discovery was made in Bavaria: a hoard of 1000+ art works (many by masters like Chagall and Renoir) was found in the apartment of the son of an art dealer.

These art works, it is thought, were ‘lost’ during WWII (i.e. looted, forced sales, etc.). 70 years on, many of these works must surely have been forgotten about entirely. For certain, many have never been seen by art historians. But there have been people who have pursued this type of art down through the decades since the war ended.

Which got me thinking. There have been many people who mourned, pursued and talked about this art down through the decades since the war ended. As time passed, they may have gone from sounding like crusaders to sounding like cranks. How must they have felt yesterday, when this hoard was revealed?

The Prompt

Write a story that features an obsessed character who is suddenly, unexpectedly vindicated.


  • The story can share the moment at which the vindication happens or it can happen afterwards (or perhaps even slightly before. Wouldn’t it be fun to let the reader see the vindication coming, but leave the story just before it does?)
  • Character is all in this story. It doesn’t really matter WHAT your character is obsessed with/paranoid about. The interesting parts happen in their interactions with the doubters and believers around them.
  • What would it do to a family, or a relationship, to have one member who was obsessed with an increasingly-outlandish idea through the years?
  • If you’re struggling for a topic, don’t forget the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination is coming up on Nov 23…


[Prompt] May 19 – The Quest

This week’s prompts are inspired by ‘plot patterns’ from James Scott Bell’s Plot & Structure.

Today your hero is restless. S/he can’t simply live the way everyone else does. Your hero needs to go on a quest.

Whether this quest (and what they seek) is literal or figurative, make sure the goal is something absolutely critical to their survival, and the obstacles huge.

(In a short story you may only be able to give them one obstacle as the set-piece but you can use the action & dialogue to

  • Imply a whole lot about who they are,
  • Explain why they are here and
  • Show the scale of the quest before and after this point,

If you pay attention to doing this, you’ll end up with a complete  story, not just a trailer for a novel

Send Your Character On A Quest