- “Yes, it is my fault. But I can’t undo this.”
- “Let’s talk right now. We can worry about the others later.”
- We weren’t so sure he could handle this pressure…
- “Don’t freak out on me now. I need you! We all need you!”
- “Faking a call on your cell is the oldest trick in the book!”
“Trust me, I was desperate.”
- She dropped a thousand bucks on the table. “Go for it.”
- “You treat that dog better than you treat me!”
- “What’s your point?”
He reached inside his coat. “I’m glad you asked.”
- “That’s a whole lot of real estate you just bought.”
- Every time he raised that scalpel…
For more ideas how these warmups might help…How to use writing prompts by Emily Wenstrom.
Here’s a fun image that might spark a fun short story or some thoughts about ‘real life’.
Need some musical inspiration?
Try this. [I’m thinking you won’t need to listen to all 15 minutes. ;->]
Disclaimer: These suggestions are pertinent to the topic of time and do not necessarily reflect the tastes of the author of this post. [Unless, of course, you like the selections, in which case the author is a genius.]
- We saw no reason why he poured that stuff in the tank, but it seemed to work.
- “Quick. Tell me two good reasons why we should be together!”
- The 80’s came and went, but left this guy on our doorstep.
- “Right about now would be a good time to buck up and tell the truth.”
- We were juuuust about there…
- “You really don’t see the problem here?”
- “Let’s get a little less selfish here.”
- Pacing was not going to help here.
- “Your behavior was more than a little provocative.”
“You’re blaming me instead of the guy with the gun?”
- “You’re going to need someone to help you navigate these waters.”
- “If you’re taking this seriously, why are you blowing bubbles while I’m talking to you?”
- “Do more with less. Then we’ll talk about advancement.” At that moment, I certainly wanted advancement…of my fist on his forehead.
- “I’m pretty sure I don’t need a psychiatrist.”
“Ohhh, I’m pretty sure you do.”
- “Here’s what you have to do. Shut up and follow instructions.”
- “You keep an eye on my house for a day and you’re expecting a parade?”
- “Maybe we should take turns.”
- “The data doesn’t lie.”
“Actually, sometimes it does.”
- “Do you really know what you’re doing?”
- “This is the first stage of total organizational failure.”
- “Thanks for the positive strokes. I really needed them right about now.”
Comments: #’s 2, 5, and 7 could certainly take place in an HR office.
I could see #9 being uttered in a conference room of stuffed shirts.
But as I type these suggestions, I’d say it would be even more fun to choose a setting completely opposite in nature.
Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording your process as you go along has its own rewards: You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress. And when you’re ready to share, you’ll have a surplus of material to choose from.
**Not an affiliate link. ;-]
- “Get your girlfriend’s family here as soon as possible!”
- We knew we didn’t belong, but we were all she had…
- “Quick, contact social services!”
- It looked completely safe to me.
- “The worst thing I could do for you is feed your chocolate habit.”
I formed a fist…
- “A second injury? No way!”
- We needed it to be low-cost and under-the-radar…
- “Hey, I’m not here to marry your daughter!”
- “Go ahead, make my year.”
- “Honest! It’s 100 percent pure!”
“Oh, yeah, something here is definitely pure.”
Other use for writing prompts:
I look for one that speaks to what has happened to me or what I’ve read or seen in the last 24 hours that spurred anger, gratitude, or laughter.
Number five applies to my wife’s recent attempts to cut back on sugar. [No, no fist was formed in the making of that writing prompt.]
“Cool! A key to the executive bathroom!”
“You got the career I always wanted. Now hire me back.”
We had no clue what was going on in his head…
“Trust me, I am not worried about the soul of the person standing in front of me.”
“Don’t you understand why you’re here?”
“Of course, I’m capable of meeting my obligations! Here, take a look!”
“Do you regret any of what just happened?”
“Is talking about this upsetting you?”
“What are you thinking about right now?”
I could keep this date going and lie. Or I could be honest.
Anyone would shut down from something like this.
- “I swear I heard you use that argument with your own mom.”
- “Clearly you all planned this.”
- Here was a thought: Could I divorce my whole family?
- “Congratulations, you’ve turned your mother into a monster.”
- “It’s not so easy being the one who’s always right.”
- “You two never show me any appreciation!”
- “Let’s just say you’re off our Christmas card list.”
- “Lights! Camera! No! No! No!…”
- “There’s a problem. We stink..on ice.”
- “Maybe she won’t notice…”
How I might use these prompts: Numbers 1-6 offer built-in conflict that could shape a story.
- “I can’t go back to the way things were.”
- “I’m pretty sure we’re going to need a lawyer.”
- “Come on, George, we both know all that stuff was just talk.”
- “Oh, sure, we threw away our future today, but we still have enchiladas!”
- It made us feel like kids again. And we couldn’t stop…
- “You really never believed in me!”
- “I’m calling today, ‘Launch Day’!’”
- “I’m afraid I’ve hit a creative roadblock.”
- Her mother…coming up the walkway. There had to be a place to hide…
- I sensed tension. Lots of it. I looked to Barkley for relief…
Note: These prompts only starting points and might–and probably will–elicit entirely different characters, settings, dialogue. If so, mission accomplished!
#9. Her mother…coming up the walkway. And my wife miles from the house. There had to be a place to hide. If only I could vaporize my car so the ‘nobody home’ message would ring loud and clear.
But nothing was ‘loud and clear’ to this woman. Except when she screamed at PBS commentators. That was loud and clear.