Tag Archives: monthly writing prompt

April Showers Bring Writing Flowers

This is your month. I don’t care if you’re a writer who makes words every single day or a reader who loves the story-telling process. If one of these ideas sparks your interest, start writing. There is no better way to express your love of a story than by writing your own.

Even if you never share it, try it out. And if you find after you’ve written your idea and it surprises you with its wit, its humor, its drama, its strong character development–send it to me at Amyoung0606@gmail.com by April 26th and I will publish it on this blog for everyone else to enjoy your hard work.

1. A young girl and her mother walk to the edge of a field, kneel down in the grass, and plant a tree.

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2. A mama cat gives birth to a litter of four gray tabbies and one little orange runt.

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3. Inspired by Jurassic Park, a biological engineer is committed to recreating dinosaurs. While researching ancient dinosaurs, the scientist stumbles into evidence that fire-breathing dragons once soared over the land and decides to recreate those instead.ZZ3DC6E0A6

4. A man who sees ghosts checks himself into a mental institute, not realizing that the facility has been closed for almost thirty years.

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Don’t waste another minute thinking these negative thoughts:
I haven’t written since high school/college-if you are inspired the writing will flow. It doesn’t matter how much technique you know/don’t know. If you are passionate and inspired it will work out in the end.

I don’t think I could make a story from an idea someone else is giving-every idea comes from someone or something else. A person you’ve met, something you’ve seen, a past experience. These prompts are just here to facilitate inspiration to get the writing going. You don’t have to do them exactly, you can just borrower the idea, twist it, change it to your own liking and make a story all your own. These prompts are just tools to help.
I read a lot, but I don’t know if I can write- you will never know if you don’t try. Again no one else has to see it. You owe it to yourself to try a part of story-telling. You may appreciate stories even more.

Just give it a shot, if you do and don’t like it. Feel free to tell me. Or suggest something else you’d want to see. Perhaps you’d benefit more from learning about plotting or talking about ways to incorporate different writing techniques. I will be happy to give my readers more than just prompts to help their writing blossom.

Happy reading and writing!

 

 

 

 

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Renmen Talisman

Slightly late, my minions, but I’ve finished my February writing prompt! You still have until the end of the week to submit me yours (Original post found here), but in the meantime, enjoy a piece of my first novel…Dollhouse Daughter.

Humidity congested every inch Azalee’s kitchen despite the blast of cool air from two standing fans and an out-of-date air conditioner jutting out from the window. Her kitchen was spacious enough to do normal cooking and her work, but it felt so small with the oppressive heat. Even her snake, Ayido, was submerged almost completely in a metal tub filled with water with only a few slivers of ice left floating above her iridescent coils.66587Resized_Rainbow_coil-med

Azalee’s customer sat in silence sat at her dinner table, looking out of place in his suit and tie. He had drained the glass of iced lavender tea within seconds of giving it to him, and he tried not to look nervous which in turn made him appear even more so. The herbs in the tea would calm him enough to start talking. In the meantime, she stood at one end of the counter to cut raw chicken for dinner.

She smiled at how lived in the kitchen looked. Almost every inch of her counter space was full. A collection of Haitian rum was arranged on the back wall behind her customers hunched back and as the counter wrapped around to the adjoining wall it seemed to grow a forest of fresh flowers and herb from the granite itself. Small mason jars were lined up beside the greenery with corresponding labels to the dried versions of the plants inside. They reminded her so much of home where the foliage grew unchallenged by Haiti’s minor modernization. But here in the U.S., nature was cut off at every corner and she was forced to grow inside her apartment since there was no yard or garden outside.

“Will you take more tea, Vernon?” her voice soft and melodic.

The man in the suit flinched at the sound of her voice and he shook his head no. He quickly turned his gaze back down to the empty glass to watch the ice melt at the bottom. She took a deep breath trying to keep control of her frustration and inhaled the lingering scent of the lavender to help calm her.

Most of her new clients had reservations about her craft, although they didn’t dare to voice their doubts in her presence. Hollywood had portrayed vodou with enough wrath and obscurity that her gaze caused a visible reaction from some of them. Those reactions tore at her heart, and her patience, when she had used the past ten years to build a reputation for being kind and approachable.

With a huff, she tossed the chicken into a pan with oil and sprinkled some red and orange powder lightly over it. After she washed and dried her hands, she sat down across from him and waited. He didn’t speak at first—didn’t even look at her. He simply stared down at the melting ice as if there was nothing else in the room. The only sound came from the hum of the fans and the sizzle of chicken slowly cooking on the stove.

Finally, after nearly a minute of silence he lifted his head to meet her questioning, but compassionate gaze. He mumbled at first and it took Azalee a moment to realize he was actually speaking words instead of gibberish.

“Go on,” she said. “I am not witch who will curse you for you sins. I am humble servant of the loa and in my home secrets are heard with open heart and closed mouth.”

“I just want to be loved,” he said loudly, his London accent was clear of any hitches despite the tears forming in his eyes.

“Vernon, love is everywhere if you let it in. It is rare to find if looking for her, but she will find you when least expect her.”

“I have spent years of my life looking for love with all the wrong women. After all this time, I have found nothing.”

Azalee head tilted to the side, curious for his answer and watching as her words penetrated his nervousness and doubt. He moved the glass aside and reached for her hands, no longer afraid of touching her.

“There’s emptiness everywhere I go,” his voice earnest and more confident. “In my house. At work. I feel like Death would be a more welcomed companion than this loneliness.”

His hands were soft and clammy in hers and her body’s warmth drained into him as the pain of his loneliness seeped into her—an icy heartache that mirrored her own. Her gift to feel and relieve others of painful emotions was bittersweet on a good day, and tears dripped down her face as he wished and prayed for someone to love him back just as she had prayed to the loa only a few weeks earlier.

“I will do as you wish, Vernon,” she said, a hiccup caught in her throat as their pain melded together. “I will read the bones and the loa show me the way to find your renmen.”

Vernon looked up at her not realizing that she had been crying too, and clenched her hands tighter.

“Ren-men,” he said as he sounded it out slow. “That means love, right? You’ll really do it.”

“Loa, they take time, but yes. I will find love for you. The risk is worth the pain, yes?”

The relief in his eyes and his heart traveled through to Azalee and the coldness of his pain receded until only hope was left. She felt a whisper of air brush against her ear, a sign from the loa that this man was pure of heart. He had suffered long and with the guidance of the loa she agreed he was worthy of a love spell.

After refilling his glass with tea and ice, Azalee set to work gathering the ingredients for his talisman. She took a rosemary and yarrow from the herb jars on the counter and plucked a white flower and placed them all in a glass bowl. Next to the bowl, was a thick canvas cloth with symbols embroidered in purple stitching, which she handed to Vernon.

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“This cloth must have part of you for the spell to work,” she motioned quickly to the sweat dripping from his forehead. “As you dry your face, think of what your heart desires most.”

He took it without question and slowly soaked the sweat from his forehead and brow with the cloth. His eyes were closed and his jaw clenched as he thought hard. When he opened them, Azalee had taken the cloth and filled it with the herbs and other items he could not recognize.

“In two week time, you come to me again with the moon high in the sky. I will read the bones for you and then the talisman will be ready.”
“Two weeks?” he asked. “Why so long? Can’t I just take it now?”

She shook her head and her beaded braids clinked like tiny chimes in a gentle breeze. His impatience should have been bothersome, but instead it excited her to do her work—to give back to her community as her mother and great-grandmother before her had. As every Mambo did at the command of the loa. When Vernon left, the spirits would speak to her and weave the magic that would bring one man to the woman who needed him as much as he needed her.

Hope you enjoyed this little piece of Azalee with her customer.

Happy Reading and Writing my lovely minions!

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Special Announcement from the World’s Perfect Men

You. Yes, I’m talking to you. You should be writing. No, not your homework. Nay, do transcribe that email. Ne’ermore shall you pen your manuscript due in July.

Instead,2bd2349e705ab50331e6705591b6b2ca I must ask you to wordsmith something bigger, something more important. I must ask you to write something fun like a writing prompt (which is listed below)!

Look here: February Writing Prompt

f4b1a5222eab454665b088d34b490600In this great big world with all of our texts and emails and snail mail and assignments, you should be having fun with your words. I promise the time you spend on a prompt is small in comparison to the struggle to start that research paper or answering some responsibility-enducing emails. Not that I’m suggesting you procrastinate.
I’m suggesting you use this creative outlet to prepare. What better way to find an inventive introduction to a science research paper than to write about how a character gains superpowers during their summer vacation from a chemical spill? No other way to begin in my book.

664d504242f676f28f957bba258ea522Or how about you prepare to pay bills by writing about a garage sale where you can buy unbreakable courage or x-ray vision? Sounds like you’d really remember the importance of money while writing that.
For whatever reason, set aside some time and take a risk. Try something new. Try writing from a prompt. And if nothing else, at least you’ll have done something fun!

Check out the official post again here and if you have questions I’m always available!

Side note: The reason why the three men above were chosen is because I, and many others, have confirmed that they are perfection. Not in a creepy omg you must be mine you are perfect. Perfect in terms of great role models and wondrous beings to watch perform and live. If there was any need to appoint representatives of the human race say in terms of meeting another alien race formally– these men would aptly and flawlessly represent us as a species. All of the below qualities can be applied to each man and highlights the benefit of having them represent us.

Enthusiastic and deeply dedicated to their work and loved ones.

Artistically and passionately superior in their field (acting).

Jawlines-Seriously, you can’t disagree.

Wonderfully goofy and creative on and off camera.

Phenomenal dancers.

Voices of gods-all are equally talented in vocals, which I might add is not their field of choice. Just gifted with that much talent it oozes out of their pores.

Perfectly coiffed/tousled hair.

Grins that make you weak in the knees.

Overall, stunningly generous and kind human beings to their fans and strangers.

Basically….perfection. And each one represents their country of origin. England, Scotland, and US.

So. Yeah. They’re amazing. But so are you.
Happy Reading and writing my darlings!

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February Prompt: Superpowers and A Sexy Spandex Mercenary

Hello my sexy spandex-covered minions!

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February 2016 begins a special month. And no, it’s actually not because it’s Leap Year or because there’s Valentine’s Day. It’s because February marks some big goals beginning and one of the most exciting cinematic “debuts” to hit the silver screen.

First, let’s discuss my impending revisions for Dollhouse Daughter. It’s been two months since I’ve graduated with my MFA and I’ve let the manuscript sit and percolate and my brain to forget all of late nights and dead end ideas while writing her third full draft.

It’s time for……..REVISIONS, EDITS, AND CUTS.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuun!

[gasp here please]

But Mistress Spotted Writer (yes, yes that’s me), revisions stink. Why not take more time away and work on something new. Give yourself a bit of break. They tell you to leave a manuscript for 6 months before revising again. Well, they don’t have a second half of a book to write and major structural arcs to re-develop. I do. And so, as I journey this February into the land of red pen markings and cut up manuscript pages, but not without some built-in fun.

Now, onto the fun part of February. If you haven’t guess by the first photo in the post it’s:

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Deadpool. I’ve never been more excited about a comic book movie. Even when I learned that Emma Frost was going to be in Wolverine Origins (she wasn’t bad) and then in X-Men First Class (where the writers kind of dug Emma Frost into the ground. Sorry January Jones, not your fault) I was not this excited. Arguably, my interest lies most in Ryan Reynolds’s being cast as Deadpool rather than my love of Deadpool. Don’t worry, I love the Merc with a Mouth plenty, but it’s the perfect casting that makes me so excited.

Reynolds has been preparing for this role since he was born. He fits the character’s background and style to a tee, and he loves the character. With those elements, plus the correct rating (R for Really Fuckin’ Awesome), add a sprinkle of delightfully on point soundtrack music, and a devoted and equally enthusiastic director and you have the recipe for the perfect comic book movie.

And thus my excitement and LOVE of the Deadpool movie has inspired a very SUPER list of writing prompts for this month.

deadpool2As usual you have until the last week of February 2/22-2/28 to submit to me your piece so that I can publish it on my blog for all of my followers and the world to read. This month I’ll be better about reminders and perhaps even slip in a submission of my own since all of these prompts are so crazy this month. Send all submissions to Amyoung0606@gmail.com

Just remember, Deadpool never gives up when he wants to kill someone, and this exercise is to help you never give up on your writing,  to have fun, and maybe even kick some bad guys in the chimichangas. Don’t feel you have to make it perfect or share. Just write. Write for you. Write for your character. Write for Deadpool. Just write something and get your creativity on the page/screen.

February Prompts:

1. Write a story about a garage sale that isn’t full of your usual selection of ragtag junk but instead is offering bargain prices of intangible, abstract items like “true love,” “unbreakable courage,” the ability to control minds,” “x-ray visios,” etc.

2. Write a story about a character who goes on vacation for the summer, suffered in an accident (chemical spill, magic spell, car crash, ice cream accident) and returns home with a superpower that is summer-themed. Like harnessing the sun to make laser beam from their palms or they can turn any food or liquid into ice cream at will.

3. The idea of casting a love spell on someone is unethical because it takes away that person’s free will. The love is therefore not real. Write a story about a character who casts a love spell on another character.

Happy reading and writing! And don’t forget:

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Day 10: 12 Days of Blogmas

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In light of all of this time talking and sharing prompts, I think it would be a great time to start a monthly prompt open submission.

Now, let me preface with I am not an editor or publisher and this is just for fun and maybe a little publicity for your own writing. But here’s the gist of the idea.

I give you a prompt at the end of the previous month (about a week before the month of January in this case) and you have three-four weeks to work on a prompt and write a shiny new thing.

Then, the last week of the month (01/24-01/30) you can send your lovely shiny new things to me and I will publish them on my blog.

There’s no real pressure, but there’s a deadline if you want it, to help spur the creative flow, and a chance to share your work, which is always a good thing. Heck, I might even do it with you!

The reason these prompts are so important is because they’re fundamentally designed to help you where you need to grow in your writing. Do you need help learning your character motivation or past? Use this prompt: Write a scene describing your character’s bedroom/personal space. How is it decorated? What sentimental items do they have saved from their childhood?

Or how about needing help with a current work in progress where you just can’t seem to get anything written down that you like?

imagesUse a prompt and apply it to the world/characters of your work in progress. That way you can stay in the mindset of your work in progress, but focus on a different aspect of the writing to help inspire you back to your main story: Write a scene where your main character goes on an all-expenses paid vacation. Where do they go? Why? What do you they do when there? Do they need sunscreen because they burn easily?

Prompts are undeniably an underrated tool in a writer’s tool box. Up there with copious amounts of reading and forums/facebook groups for writer-based discussions. It’s practice and a chance to build some new content. Just give it a try. What harm could it do?

Here are the three selections for this month, which all come from Awesome Writing Prompts. Again starting this week you have until the week of 01/24 when I will accept any length of a story and publish it for everyone to enjoy your new shiny!

1.Use this line of dialogue somewhere in your story: “Well, at least I don’t have to worry about feeding and caring for a unicorn anymore.”

2.Use these three things in a story: nail polish, a VHS tape, a book of spells.

3.Write a story about snow that isn’t snow.

You can send your stories to Amyoung0606@gmail.com along with a short write-up about you as a writer.

Happy Reading and Writing!

 

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