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

Literary – July 15

“If you work at comedy too laboriously, you can kill what’s funny in the joke.” -Richard Russo, born this date in 1949. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist fails to make everyone else get the joke.

Big Questions – July 15

What’s the most awkward thing you ever had to buy from another person? 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 spend 15-20...

Journaling + Fiction – July 15

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”G.K. Chesterton Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about the the greatest dragon in your life you have yet to slay. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which a lesson your protagonist from a fondly remembered childhood story inspires a solution to a...

Romance – July 15

“Anything that consoles is fake.” -Iris Murdoch, born this date in 1919. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist realizes someone consoling her/him is not authentic.

Mystery – July 15

“It’s always the thrill of the unknown.” -Clive Cussler, born on this date in 1931. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must enter a completely dark building to complete a task.

SciFi/Fantasy – July 15

On this date in 1965, Mariner 4 sent to Earth the first detailed images of the surface of Mars. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which facts reveal your protagonist’s expectations to be utterly mistaken.

Literary – July 14

“Everything is worth precisely as much as a belch, the difference being that a belch is more satisfying.” -Ingmar Bergman, born this date in 1918. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist fails to persuade a curmudgeon that something important to your protag should be important to the curmudgeon.

Big Questions – July 14

What’s your theme song? 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 spend 15-20 minutes answering the question in the voice of a...

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