Mystery – December 11

“Everything you add to the truth subtracts from the truth.” –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, born this date in 1918. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which a character’s addition of details to his or her “truth” gradually reveals the character as a...

Secondary – December 11

On this date in 1972, Apollo 17 landed on the moon. It was the sixth and last manned mission to the moon. Describe what happens to a place you visit but never return to.

Primary – December 11

Sir David Brewster, the Scottish scientist who invented the kaleidoscope, was born on this date in 1781. Write a story about a time you saw a common object from a different perspective and realized you could use it in a new and different way.

Romance – December 11

“Women should stick together. Didn’t you learn anything yet?” –Grace Paley, born this date in 1922. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist is forced to comply with a bad plan only because of a superficial resemblance to a group’s members.

Literary – December 11

“Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.” –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, born this date in 1918. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist’s lie forces him or her to decide whether to confess the lie or commit violence to maintain...

SciFi/Fantasy – December 11

“After a lifetime of world travel I’ve been fascinated that those in the third world don’t have the same perception of reality that we do.” –Jim Harrison, born this date in 1937. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist and a character from a different culture compare their perceptions of the same...

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...

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