[Writing Prompt] Will’s Words

Today we’re stealing from another master: William Shakespeare.

The Prompt

Write A Story That Incorporates This Quote (or its spirit)

“If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?


  • If you don’t like this quote, here’s another to play with: “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.”
  • Consider making the quote the last line (or first line) of your story.
  • How can you incorporate the actual line into your story? What kind of story will you write if you opt to use the spirit of the quote rather than Will’s words?
  • Shakespeare endures, not because we’re interested in Elizabethan life, but because the characters he wrote were so true to human nature. Make your characters similarly realistic.


Which quote did you use? Did you use it verbatim or only in the spirit? How did this prompt help with your writing today? Comment below or join the conversation in the community.

[Prompt] May 20 – Revenge

I saved this one for last (in the plot prompts series) because it has the potential to be the most fun of all!

If you’re a writer, the chances are you think a lot (too much?) about everything that happens to you. And you probably remember every little slight anyone has ever perpertrated upon you.

Now’s your chance to have your revenge.

Today you will write a revenge story. (Use examples from real life if you like!)

If you want to keep your main character sympathetic, make sure they’re seeking revenge for something outrageously unfair and that the bad guys are really bad. And make sure that your main character doesn’t just slide through the revenge process unchanged.

Of course, it doesn’t have to end well for your main character. Maybe they start out nice-but-wronged and end up avenged-but-twisted. Or maybe your protagonist is a real bad apple, to start with.

As usual, keep the scale of your story small: focus on one incident – probably the moment of confrontation. Start right in the action and show the backstory in dialogue, allusions, images. Bring the story to a climax and show us how it has affected your main character as s/he walks off into the sunset.

Write A Story of Revenge


Thanks to James Scott Bell for a week’s worth of inspiration. Check out the StoryADay.org exclusive interview with JSB, his Plot & Structure book, or any of his suspense novels, zombie legal thrillers (who could resist?!), historical romance or books for writers.