Daily, genre-inspired writing prompts for authors, teachers, and journaling
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Literary – January 21

“We like to invent ‘what if’ scenarios — what if x had never happened, what if y had happened instead? — because we like to believe that individual decisions make a difference: that, if not for x, or if only there had been y, history might have plunged forever down a completely different path.” -Louis Menand, born this date in 1952. Writing prompt: Write your protagonist’s...

Journaling – January 21

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”T.S. Eliot Journal prompt: Spend at least 20 minutes writing about a time you pushed the envelope with positive results. Fiction writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist goes too far.

Romance – January 21

Writing prompt: Write a scene in which your protagonist cannot find something that is both urgently needed and personally valuable.

Mystery – January 21

Firearms designer John Browning was born on this date in 1855. Writing prompt: Write the scene that explains the origins of your protagonist’s preferred weapon, style of fighting, or decision to avoid any type of physical confrontation.

SciFi/Fantasy – January 21

This date marks two milestones in transportation history: In 1954, the first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, launched in Connecticut; in 1976, the world’s first and only supersonic passenger plane, the Concorde, entered service in Europe. Writing prompt: Write a scene that demonstrates how citizens of the world you’ve created perceive a revolution in transportation that radically changed their...

Secondary – January 21

To what tempation should you say “no” more than you do — and why don’t you?

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