Literary – February 25

“I hope that after I die, people will say of me: ‘That guy sure owed me a lot of money.’ ” –Jack Handey, born this date in 1949. No, really. Writing prompt: Write ten statements your protagonist hopes people will say after s/he dies.

SciFi/Fantasy – February 25

Anthony Burgess was born on this date in 1917. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s peers describe their vision of dystopia.

Mystery – February 25

Anthony Burgess was born on this date in 1917. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must confront the fallout of an utterly senseless, pointless act of violence.

Romance – February 25

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born on this date in 1841. Writing prompt: Describe from your protagonist’s point of view what’s happening in his painting titled La...

Words Not Pages

I frequently hear from writers who are interested in a manuscript review or editing services, or who want to pitch an agent or publisher, and they tell me their book is 200 or 425 or howevermany pages long. When I’m feeling indulgent and patient, I’ll spend some time explaining why I don’t care how many pages their manuscript is – and why they shouldn’t, either. What counts is the number of words in the manuscript,...

Literary – February 24

One of my favorite painters, Winslow Homer, was born on this date in 1836. Writing prompt: Describe his painting The Coming Storm in the voices of your protagonist and your...

SciFi/Fantasy – February 24

Abe Vigoda was born on this date in 1921. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist meets a person everyone thought long dead.

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