Interesting Writing Prompts
- Every year on your birthday, you are visited by yourself from one year in the future. This year, no one shows up.
- Describe each day of the week as if it were a person.
- Write a story that begins with a word randomly picked from the dictionary.
- You wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of your books speaking to each other. Which books are speaking, and what are they saying?
- A story about discovering that a certain religion (or your own) has been proven to be true.
- Or, alternately, discover that your current religion (or your character’s) has been proven to be false.
- Write a scene immediately following a tragedy. You may give hints to what the tragedy could be, but you cannot reveal what it really is/was.
- Your main character becomes self-aware and realizes they’re living in a fictional story.
- Write about the person you are know, meeting the alternate version of yourself at the same age you imagined you would be at a younger age.
- Write a story from the viewpoints of a pen and paper being used to write a story.
- Write a story in just six words.
- You ride a subway through underground New York City and discover you can remember the pasts of your fellow passengers.
- What, exactly is a soul mate? Get creative.
- A short story about yourself, writing a novel. In the same short story, the main character of your novel begins writing a novel about you.
- You discover the lampposts on your street are watching and gossiping about you.
"Last night was that dream
again: me and Jesus
pulling nails out of our feet
at the lip of the Mississippi
Delta. Somewhere, Coretta
is calling for Martin
to come down from a sycamore.
He’s just a boy, here, but
he weeps and the sky
is ripped at the belly."
"Cities have often been compared to language: you can read a city, it’s said, as you read a book. But the metaphor can be inverted. The journeys we make during the reading of a book trace out, in some way, the private spaces we inhabit. There are texts that will always be our dead-end streets; fragments that will be bridges; words that will be like the scaffolding that protects fragile constructions. T.S. Eliot: a plant growing in the debris of a ruined building; Salvador Novo: a tree-lined street transformed into an expressway; Tomas Segovia: a boulevard, a breath of air; Roberto Bolano: a rooftop terrace; Isabel Allende: a (magically real) shopping mall; Gilles Deleuze: a summit; and Jacques Derrida: a pothole. Robert Walser: a chink in the wall, for looking through to the other side; Charles Baudelaire: a waiting room; Hannah Arendt: a tower, an Archimedean point; Martin Heidegger: a cul-de-sac; Walter Benjamin: a one-way street walked down against the flow."
Valeria Luiselli, “Relingos: The Cartography of Empty Spaces” (via thymoss)
"I had a dream about you. We were in the gold room
where everyone finally gets what they want.
You said Tell me about your books, your visions made
of flesh and light and I said This is the Moon. This is
the Sun. Let me name the stars for you. Let me take you
there. The splash of my tongue melting you like a sugar
cube…We were in the gold room where everyone
finally gets what they want, so I said What do you
want, sweetheart? and you said Kiss me. Here I am
leaving you clues. I am singing now while Rome
burns. We are all just trying to be holy. My applejack,
my silent night, just mash your lips against me.
We are all going forward. None of us are going back.
Richard Siken, Snow and Dirty Rain (via weddingginddew)
When God created his angels he did not mean
to make divinely cruel urban monsters who
stalk back alleys and lurk in the shadows.
Michael breathes out smog and a Bowie knife
is clutched in his hand. He uses it for fun.
Raphael’s grin glints gold in the amber lighting:
angels live for war.
They all move as a unit. In Heaven
they were called a garrison.
Here, they are a gang.
On the other side of town is Lucifer,
pressing hasty kisses on Lillith’s neck in a
dirty restroom. Her lipstick is sin-red and smudged.
Hell is a dusty dive bar, the Throne
a battered bar stool and Lucifer reigns triumphant.
He rules the south side and tomorrow he will
battle Michael tooth and nail for the west.
God gave his angels form
and they did the rest.