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

A word about self-publishing for writers so inclined.

The fact that no one in the legacy publishing industry knows what makes a best seller is indisputable. That fact does not mean everyone in the legacy publishing industry is an idiot. Even if J.K. Rowling experienced a dozen rejections before selling Harry Potter, and even if James Redfield self-published and sold more than 80,000 copies of The Celestine Prophecy from the trunk of his car, traditional (sometimes...

Literary – February 28

“Good days, they come around the oddest corners.” -Colum McCann, born this date in 1965, in Let the Great World Spin. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which rounding an odd corner launches what looks to your protagonist to be anything but a good day.

Journaling + Fiction – February 28

I must be cruel only to be kind.Thus bad begins and worse remains behind.William Shakespeare Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about a time when a friend or family member told you something that seemed cruel in the moment but later turned out to be valuable. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s kindness turns out to be inadvertently cruel.

Romance – February 28

“The thing about love is that we come alive in bodies not our own.” -Colum McCann, born this date in 1965, in Let the Great World Spin. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which someone’s love for your protagonist comes alive in her/his body.

Mystery – February 28

“He lied with a smile that paralyzed reason.” -Steve Martini, born this date in 1946. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which an obviously guilty person persuades your protagonist that s/he is innocent.

SciFi/Fantasy – February 28

On this date in Gordon R. Dickson’s 1966, Walter Child received a collections letter from a bureaucratic computer. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist is imprisoned at the conclusion of an escalating series of misunderstandings for which s/he is not at fault.

Literary – February 27

“In this world a man must either be anvil or hammer.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, born this date in 1807. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist transitions from one to the other.

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