Holidays and the Unexpected

We all know that holidays bring unexpected moments. In my family, usually the toilet broke, or the dog would somehow devour the best part of our celebratory supper. In my first marriage, we’d always have a huge fight on Valentine’s Day. We actually came to expect it. Write a story about a holiday brimming with […]

House, Car, or Town

Write a story in which a house, car, or town is a passive but important character. For example: In the film “Little Miss Sunshine” the dysfunctional van (that the whole family had to push) was one of the most lovable, reliably flawed characters.

Words from Your Nightstand

Grab words from a few books (or just one book) on your nightstand. Pick 10 vibrant words. Freewrite, using every single one. After that, freewrite again, using them all again, but in completely different ways.

Rebellious Secret

Write a story involving both a rebellious act (or fantasy) and a secret. In Raymond Carver’s story “Fat”, the main character is a waitress who has grown inconveniently fond of an obese customer who treats her with kindness. She feels useful to him, and is enlivened by his presence. He is not easy to look […]

Write To Someone or Something

Freewrite to someone or something. To the forest, to a dog, to a marriage, to an old house, to a parent or sibling. Write a story using this narrative approach.

Because….

Write a first person “Because” story.┬áStart every line with “Because”. List the reasons why a character worries, doubts.. etc. Or why the character loves, envies or hates. For example. “Because I found him with in the kitchen at 6:00AM, looking at the clock. Because my mother died in the ocean on the nicest day of […]

Write Or Die

Autopilot: Don’t think about what you are writing, write as much as you can as fast you can without any editing or worry about grammar, spelling, story arc, or logic. Do it for as long as possible: one hour, two hours, three hours: don’t look back don’t look up.