Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling

Literary – December 8

“All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why.” -James Thurber, born this date in 1894. Writing prompt: Write a bar scene in which your protagonist reveals what s/he is running from, and to, to someone s/he will never see again.

Big Questions – December 8

What would you do if you knew that you and the person you most love had 72 hours to live? Journaling prompt: Spend 15-20 minutes writing your answer in the spirit of exploring yourself and the world around you. If you can answer with a simple “yes” or “no,” explain the sources or implications of your response. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene that forces a character in your story to answer the question, or...

Journaling + Fiction – December 8

“Sins cannot be undone, only forgiven.”Igor Stravinsky Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about whether you’ve ever successfully undone a sin you’ve committed. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist commits a worse sin while trying to undo another one.

Romance – December 8

“Love is the strange bewilderment that overtakes one person on account of another person.” -James Thurber, born on this date in 1894. Writing prompt: Write a scene of initial bewilderment for a secondary character in your story.

Mystery – December 8

“There are two kinds of light — the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” -James Thurber, born this date in 1894. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist confuses the two kinds of light.

SciFi/Fantasy – December 8

“The remarkable position in which we find ourselves is that we don’t actually know what we actually know.” -Bill Bryson, born this date in 1951. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your antagonist discovers that a belief common in the world you’ve created is absolutely false.

Secondary – December 8

John Lennon was killed on this date in 1980 at age 40. With The Beatles, he had literally revolutionized popular music around the world. Describe something significant you would like to accomplish by the time you’re 40 years old.

Primary – December 8

Mexican painter Diego Rivera was born on this date in 1886. Here is one of his most famous paintings. What does it make you think about?

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