Day 28- The Body Talking by Neha Mediratta

We communicate with more than words…let’s explore that today

The Prompt

Write a short story describing your character’s inner reactions/emotions/thoughts to outside events entirely through body description.

Use this ending for your short story. “After he signed the papers, he stood up slower than usual. He almost limped away from the desk and into the corridor.

No, that’s not it.

His head hung to the left a bit, his whole torso’s weight shifted to the right leg for longer than the left one, as if was lugging around a log of wood attached to his left calf. His left knee didn’t bend. His arms, usually swinging, hung limp.”

Steve Maxwell, a fitness instructor, says: “People’s bodies are exactly what their thoughts are.”

Including the body’s reactions to outside situations is a great way to develop depth in characters. It creates a more immediate connection with readers (since they can absorb a lot of implicit information through such descriptions) and makes your writing more effective with just a few details!

How can we show defeat (like in the ending shared above) or anger or love or excitement/fear through body reactions of characters?


Neha Mediratta

Neha is a generalist currently obsessed with stretching, mind-body-world connection and the spirit’s dwelling place. She writes fiction, non-fiction, takes on editing assignments she enjoys and works with people she admires. She lives by a lake in an overcrowded coastal city with her family and some wildlife. Check out her writing here

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Day 18- Follow the Scent! by Robin Stein

Follow the scent and uses your senses in today’s prompt from Robin Stein

The Prompt

The aroma of coffee brewing, the minty scent of your grandfather’s aftershave or the salty smell of the beach.

What are the smells of your childhood? List three that pop into your head.

Start your story with one of them.

Maybe your character has a flashback when she smells something.

Or, the scent can be used as evidence in a crime.

Perhaps an unfamiliar perfume will reveal someone’s infidelity.

Make sure to use all five senses as you follow the scent to reveal your story.

See where your nose takes you!

Robin Stein

Robin Stein muses, meditates and creates in Newtonville, MA. Her work has been displayed on the Martin Poetry Path and in the Story Dispenser at Wellesley Free Library. Her book, My Two Cities: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration, has been featured at many schools. She enjoys crafting crosswords, walking in nature and playing piano. You can read more at

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Day 12- Listening for ideas by Monique Cuillerier

Sound can be stimulating…in today’s writing prompt from Monique Cuillerier

When I’m having a hard time falling asleep, when my mind won’t stop throwing up new worries or old memories or random fears, I listen to white noise tracks, preferably nature sounds. (Here’s a short playlist of some of my favourites)

In doing this, I unintentionally discovered that listening to these soundscapes provides me with lots of ideas for stories (or further developments for works in progress).

(It is not, however, particularly helpful in getting to sleep!)

The Prompt

Choose one of the tracks on the playlist (or find one on YouTube, Spotify, or a website like Ambient Mixer ).

Listen for a while. Maybe 5 minutes, maybe more. (I will warn you that some of the tracks are many hours long…)

Let your mind wander as you immerse yourself in the sounds. What do you think of? What images come to your mind? How do you feel?

Then write a story based on your reaction and the ideas that have come to you.

It might be something quite literal (like rain falling on a roof inspiring a story of being inside a cabin during a storm) or less so (for example, the feelings of isolation or coziness that arise).

Monique Cuillerier

Monique (she/her) is a lesbian science fiction writer living in Ottawa (Canada), with her cat Janeway and many (many) plants. Her latest story, “Touching Mars,” can be found in Bicycles & Broomsticks: Fantastical Feminist Stories about Witches on Bikes (January 2023). She can be found at

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!


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[Write On Wednesday] Sight

I saved this prompt for last because it tends to be the one that we modern writers, raised on TV and movies, reach for first and are most reluctant to demote.

My hope is that, after four weeks of writing in the other senses, you’re a little disappointed to be invited to concentrate on what your characters can see this week. My hope is that you’ll be open to using sight in more creative ways than you might have been last month.

Child looking at the Empire State building through tower viewer Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel on Unsplash

The Prompt

Your character is searching for something…and time is running out.


Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Sight”

[Write on Wednesday] – Touch

Touch is a sense that some writers naturally use often and others, hardly ever. I mean obviously if you’re writing a romance, there’s going to be some touching, but there are other ways to use this sense that will pull readers into your story. Let’s give it a try.

Woman touching white textile Photo by Claudia Soraya on Unsplash

The Prompt

Your main character has been deprived of a wide range of touch for some reason (a medical crisis? A custodial sentence? Some otherworldly reason…) and re-enters a life where they can touch and be touched. They have anticipated this day for so long. Does it go the way they expect?


Continue reading “[Write on Wednesday] – Touch”

[Write On Wednesday] – Taste

This month is all about encouraging you to engage with the setting of your story by using your senses. Last week I asked you to use sounds in your descriptions; the week before that we explored the close association between smell, memory, and emotion.

This week your story is going to explore taste.

Girl holding ice cream Photo by Mieke Campbell on Unsplash

The Prompt

At a key point in your story, your main character is given momentous news, over dinner.


Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] – Taste”

[Write On Wednesday] Sound

Last week’s prompt encouraged you to describe everything in terms of smell. It was tough, wasn’t it? But I’ll bet you discovered some things about your go-to style of description and how you could branch out a little.

This week is, I think, a little easier, focusing as it does on sound. It’s a sense that we often see represented on the page, but I’m going to encourage you to move beyond cliches like ‘rolling thunder’ and ‘the squeal of tires on asphalt’.

Man plays the trumpet Photo by Chris Bair on Unsplash

The Prompt

Your protagonist is hiding from someone. The stakes are high. They must not be discovered.


Continue reading “[Write On Wednesday] Sound”

[Writing on Wednesday] Smell

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.

dog smelling the air Photo by Jeff Nissen on Unsplash

The Prompt

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.


Continue reading “[Writing on Wednesday] Smell”

Paint A Vivid Setting

And now for something completely different!

The Prompt

Write a story in which the setting is key


  • Choose a setting for your story based on a real place that you know intimately. You can change details, of course, but this just makes it easier to summon up images in your mind. You can change it to be it futuristic, or historical, or on another planet, but base your buildings on building as you know, base the weather on whether you understand. Use your experiences to make this story shine.
  • Sometimes we worry too much about plot and forget the story is NOT just about the things that are happening. A reader wants to be sucked into the story. They want to be able to see and feel everything the characters are seeing and feeling. Having a strong setting, a strong sense of where they are in space and time, can really help with this.
  • In a short story we don’t have a lot of space. It’s important for every element of the story to serve multiple functions. Setting can provide atmosphere. It can echo or heightened emotions, and it can tell us a lot about the time, place, characters, and mood of your story.
  • Think about your grandmother’s house and how it was decorated and furnished. Didn’t that tell you a lot about who you were going to find living in that house? Think about the houses in Architecture Digest magazine. Who would you expect to find living in one of those houses?
  • Atmosphere, weather, climate, all of these things can enhance or echo your character’s situation and emotion. Storms speak of peril. Humidity makes things feel oppressive. If the trees are bare we know it’s winter.
  • Simple details like whether or not there are weeds growing up through the paving can tell is a lot about the neighborhood in which your character finds themselves.
  • Don’t worry about creating a complicated or original plot in this story. The exercise here is to practice using setting to enhance the simple story that you’re telling. Choose a character, give them a simple mission, and build the reader’s experience into a feast.
  • Use all five senses. “Cinematic writing” can be good, but it means you’re only using your eyes. Use sounds to hear things, use the feel of things, the smell of things, the taste of things — even if the person isn’t eating, the tang of something-in-the-air can tell us whether we are near the sea, or near a decomposing body, or whatever it is that your story needs. Using all five senses will make your reader unable to separate themselves from the story, which is what you want.

Leave a comment and share what kind of setting you used. How’s the challenge going? Got any tips for the rest of us? Share them now!