It’s show AND tell. When we’re kids, we want to bring our cool thing to school to show off. But looking at it isn’t enough. You have to give the thing context. You have to tell the story that makes that red polished rock interesting.
You are a first grader again getting ready for show and tell. Describe the object you chose. Then create a story for why it’s interesting.
Apologies for the radio silence the past couple weeks. I've gotten my head back on straight, and I'm excited to encourage you all in your writing journeys.
At my last class of the year with Awesome Authors Kids, we walked through building a story with three main plot points. The discussion moved to the difference between a Hero and a Protagonist.
Everyone knows what a hero is, but what's a protagonist?
What is the difference between a hero and a protagonist?
The Nebulas was amazing. I MET A MUPPETEER! I shook hands with the man behind Mr. Snuffleupagus! My life is awesome!
On top of the magnificent people and connections I made, I got some great ideas for writing and stories. I'm looking forward to the next year!
Story Starter #8
No one wants to believe their the villain in their own life story. Yet, somehow, that is exactly what happened to me.
Fake Memoir (have fun making up your new life story)
I'm going to the Nebulas!
Tomorrow I'm leaving for the Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of America yearly conference. This is the conference that changed my whole outlook last year. My time there taught me to stop self-censoring. I stopped giving up on ideas before even trying to write them.
I hope you are finding your inspiration to support your own voices.
Story Starter #7
I sat at the patio table, the morning sun warming the back of my neck, and tried desperately to ignore the man standing across from me. I don't want to hear what he's come to say.
Spring has officially arrived! My front yard is full of tulips after a week of enjoying my daffodils. I can't figure out why daffodils are so hard to bloom in my yard. I celebrate every daffodil that blooms.
I thought I'd make a blatant ploy to encourage you to write fantasy. Mostly because I love the way fantasy allows literally anything to happen. Want to combine a woman, a lion, and an eagle? Have a Sphinx. Want to make somebody fly? Here's a magic potion, set of wings, wand and spell, water-powered rocket boots. And always, when in doubt, throw in a dragon.
Story Starter #6
The greatest adventure is life itself. The second greatest adventure is the Quest. Everyone's Quest is different. I set out on my Quest last week, and it's been the worst week ever.
First, I tripped over a rock in my own driveway and fell down, sending my pack flying into the back of my head.
Today I did something that challenged and stretched my writing skills. I'm a fiction writer. I'm comfortable in the land of Make-Believe.
Today I wrote my first press release. I struggled for almost three weeks to figure out what to say. I used three different online resources, made four attempts, and muscled through to write something pretty good!
So today's Free-Write is inspired by perseverance.
Story Starter #5
I told myself I'd never be here again. Years of hard work and dedication to achieving my one goal in life were supposed to keep me far from this place.
Science Fiction: This could be a cool space travel sort of story
Destiny Tale: The idea that our fates are set in motion upon our birth and try as we might to fight against it, destiny will always take us where she wants us to be.
This week, I updated my author bio for the Nebula Conference that I'm attending next month. It made me realize how drastically my writing life has changed in the past year.
Last year, I was shopping around an adult dark fantasy story, questioning where my writing career was going.
This year, I've sold a short story; I'm self-publishing a picture book. I'm leading a writing class at my son's elementary school. I'm drafting a middle grade novel and another picture book. I'm confident in my career choices.
It's been quite a year!
So because of that, this week's writing prompt is about change.
Story Starter #4
It had been thirteen months since they'd seen me. Was I still the person they remembered? Would they recognize me?
Flash Fiction (thought not specifically a genre, it's a challenge to get your full idea out in 1000 words or less) Example: 50 Ways to Leave Your Fairy Lover by Aimee Picchi
Folklore Example: The Story of Paul Bunyan
My week started out pretty great. I spent Sunday disassembling my fridge, cleaning all its guts, and putting everything back together.
I steam-cleaned my microwave AND my stove.
Swept, vacuumed, mopped, wiped, scrubbed, laundry; you name it, I did it.
Which leads me to the inspiration for this week's story starter.
Story Starter #3
Writing is hard. Writing well is harder. But like all skills, we get better with practice.
I love to write. I especially love the way I can fall into whatever it is I'm writing and come out the other side feeling better.
Today's free-write prompt is a story about a walk.
Story Starter #2
I got into a fight with my sibling/spouse/parent/child/friend/coworker, and I was so mad I could feel it in my guts. I took myself for a walk.
When I was a kid, my favorite game to play with my friends was to ask someone to give me a sentence. Any sentence. And then I would write a one-page story starting with that sentence.
The key to doing this well was never to question where the sentence I was writing would take me. Sometimes, I would write a sentence that had me leaping from the dining room table into the mouth of a shark with nothing holding me back but a giant pair of underpants.
Part of being a successful writer is not being afraid of your ideas. The purpose of this exercise is to let you take your stories wherever they want to go.
Don’t think; just write.
Let's try something different for a bit!
For April and May, instead of a craft-oriented writing prompt, I will be offering up story starters with two possible genres to write in. The hope is by offering up genres, this will help ideas come to mind.
The goal: WRITE; DON'T THINK.
Story Starter #1
I take pride in being a Writing Fugleman for my fellow authors. Here is a tool to help you hone your craft.