Literary – July 10

“There is no man, however wise, who has not at some period of his youth said things, or lived in a way the consciousness of which is so unpleasant to him in later life that he would gladly, if he could, expunge it from his memory.” -Marcel Proust, born on this date in 1871. Writing prompt: Write a scene from your protagonist’s life that s/he would rather forget.

Romance – July 10

“Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories — and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.” -Alice Munro, born this date in 1931. Writing prompt: Write the story of your protagonist’s first kiss as s/he tells it to her/his best friend, and then write the same story as your protag tells it to her/his mother.

Mystery – July 10

“It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.” -Sir William Blackstone, born this date in 1723. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist must choose between letting a person your protag knows to be guilty go free or implicating a person your protag knows to be innocent.

SciFi/Fantasy – July 10

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…. Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” -Nikola Tesla, born this date in 1856. Writing prompt: Write the scene in which your protagonist’s long effort to build something complicated finally pays...

Paradox: Limitations Drive Creativity

If I ask you to tell me a story, or to draw me a picture, what’s your first reaction? If you’re like most people, it’s another question: “About what?” Few things are as intimidating as a blank sheet of paper. All the hopes, fears, dreams, tragedies, climaxes, and denouements you plan to spill forth in lyrical and dazzling prose … where, oh where, to begin? That’s one reason prompts are such powerful, proven...

Literary – July 9

” ‘Dangerously well’ — what an irony is this: it expresses precisely the doubleness, the paradox, of feeling ‘too well’.” -Oliver Sacks, born this date in 1933. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s sense of feeling too well causes her/him to end up feeling not very well at all.

Romance – July 9

“After forty a woman has to choose between losing her figure or her face. My advice is to keep your face, and stay sitting down.” -Barbara Cartland, born on this date in 1901. Writing prompt: Write the scene in which your protagonist first realizes that age is happening to her/him, too.

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