Literary – January 25

“On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.” -Virginia Woolf, born on this date in 1882. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which one of your protagonist’s acquaintances describes in detail his/her observations about something your protag would rather not have been noticed.

Romance – January 25

“Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequence than to have a really affectionate mother.” -William Somerset Maugham, born on this date in 1874. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist to realizes that her/his partner’s parental hang-ups have fatally damaged their relationship.

Mystery – January 25

“Death is a very dull, dreary affair, and my advice to you is to have nothing whatsoever to do with it.” -William Somerset Maugham, born on this date in 1874. Writing prompt: Write a scene that forces your protagonist have something to do with it.

SciFi/Fantasy – January 25

“Men have an extraordinarily erroneous opinion of their position in nature.” -William Somerset Maugham, born on this date in 1874. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s erroneous opinion of her/his position in nature puts someone else in mortal danger.

Literary – January 24

Edith Wharton, who famously compared a woman’s interior life to great house full of rooms, was born on this date in 1862. She warned against a “common symptom of immaturity, the dread of doing what has been done before.” Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist decides to do something s/he fears will fail simply because it’s the opposite of what’s caused her/his failures...

Romance – January 24

Edith Wharton, who confessed to hoarding her emotional life rather than spending it, was born on this date in 1862. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must decide between two potential partners — one who would make your protag’s life easy, and the other who would make your protag’s life interesting.

Mystery – January 24

Abstract artist Robert Motherwell was born on this date in 1915. Among his paintings is this untitled work from 1967, a memorial tribute to¬† poet and critic Frank O’Hara. Writing prompt: With no context around it to indicate its value, write a scene in which your protagonist encounters this image during the process of his/her investigation of a suspect.

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