Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling
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Literary – July 16

“All morons hate it when you call them a moron.” -Holden Caulfield, narrator of The Catcher in the Rye, published this date in 1951. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which a young, insolent person justifiably calls out your protagonist for making a stupid mistake.

Journaling + Fiction – July 16

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”Vincent van Gogh Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about several small things you’re currently doing that you could bring together so the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which a series of small actions your protagonist took over time successfully culminate in a short-lived...

Big Questions – July 16

Among your group of friends, what role do you play? 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...

Romance – July 16

“For once a thing is known, it can never be unknown. It can only be forgotten.” -Anita Brookner, born this date in 1928. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist learns a thing s/he will never forget.

Mystery – July 16

“Suppose I have to whack you over the knuckles.” -Phyllis in Double Indemnity, portrayed by Barbara Stanwyck, born Ruby Stevens on this date in 1907. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which a partner’s sarcasm drives your protagonist to violence.

SciFi/Fantasy – July 16

“The expression of divinity is in variety.” -Sheri S. Tepper, born this date in 1929, who also wrote under the names AJ Orde and BJ Oliphant. Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist is compelled to participate in a religious ceremony substantially different than your protag’s preferred faith.

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.

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...

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