Favorite place from childhood – Prompt #11

Picture a house you grew up in. If you grew up in more than one house, just choose one. It doesn’t matter which one.  Stand back from the house, across the street, or across a yard, and look at your house.  Notice the size, shape and color of your house. Walk a little closer. What do you see? Take a look around. Perhaps you notice some trees, or plants, a yard or a fence. Perhaps a sidewalk. Look at the side of the house that you usually first walked into. Maybe a front door, or a side door, or a back door.  Walk towards that door. Open the door and step inside. Take a look around. Even though it may have been awhile, this room is so familiar. Walk towards your favorite room in the house. If you don’t have a favorite room in this house, go to your favorite…


What if . . . Prompt #9

Take any situation from real life, reel life, or from fiction and change the story.  Start out with “What if . . . ” and go from there. What if you hadn’t taken that job, moved to that city? What if you had gone a different route?  What if Dorothy didn’t follow the yellow brick road? What if the top of the Empire State Building was closed that evening?  Change your story to what could have happened. Change the ending to a well-known movie or book or poem. Use your imagination. Go wild. Be quirky. Write freely. Prompt:  What if . . .

Places to submit

Boulevard magazine – now accepting submissions

Boulevard magazine is now accepting submissions. “Boulevard strives to publish only the finest in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction While we frequently publish writers with previous credits, we are very interested in less experienced or unpublished writers with exceptional promise. If you have practiced your craft and your work is the best it can be, send to Boulevard.”  

Just Write

Fabulous character sketch – Elizabeth Berg

“My mother was dressed in her beautiful yellow summer robe, the tie cinched evenly into a bow at the exact center of her waist, but her auburn hair was sticking up in the back, an occasional occurrence that I always hated seeing, since in my mind it suggested a kind of incompetence. It was an unruly cowlick, nearly impossible to tame — I knew this, having an identical cowlick of my own — but I did not forgive its presence on my mother. It did not go with the rest of her looks: her deep blue eyes, her thin, sculptured nose, her high cheekbones, her white, white skin — all signs, I was certain, of some distant link to royalty.” — What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg


Location, or place as a character – Prompt #8

Photo by Colby Drake, fine arts photographer who enjoys the adventure of going to scenic areas and trying to capture those places to share with others. Prompt:  Write about a city . . . where you live now, or used to live, or have visited, or from your imagination.  Here are examples from the NaNoWriMo Blog.  It is Sunday in Hamburg. Six o’clock in the morning and everything is quiet. Most people are sleeping peacefully in their beds, but not me. I’ve been awake all night. Waiting for this special moment. I feel tired but push on: there is nothing better than the beauty of a new dawn and the breeze of freedom it holds. Soon, I will go to the one place where people who lived through the night can meet those who are first to welcome the morning. Entering downtown Montreal is like stepping through a time machine….

Book Reviews

Jordan Rosenfeld – Make A Scene

We’ve been talking about character, let’s add location. Jordan Rosenfeld wrote an amazing book, Make a Scene, detailing how to “craft a powerful story one scene at a time.”  She explains “The purpose of setting, a core element of the scene, is almost always to support and contain the action of the scene, but rarely to be the star. Still, setting requires careful consideration, because you want to ground the reader.” Characters in a story are always somewhere. . . even if the scene is just the character thinking. . . he or she is somewhere. In the next few prompts, we’ll be setting the scene. Meanwhile, check out Jordan’s book. It’s a complete how-to book for writing scenes and a necessary book for writers.  Good one to have on your resource shelf.


Your character has a surprise secret – Prompt #7

Fleshing out your character. . . either fictional or someone from real life or a photo. Have your character do something unexpected .  . . something that surprises everyone. For example, put your conservative character in an improv situation where he/she has to  rap or belly dance.  Have your wild character volunteer to help with bingo in an assisted facility. You don’t have to include this in your novel,  memoir or biography. Just have fun with writing about a character. Prompt:  Write about your character’s surprise