Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writing Prompts

© Marta Stephens 2009 all rights reserved

Ah, the “What if.” They may not vocalize it as such, but that's exactly what runs through every writer's mind when he or she sits down to write the next book. If you're coming short on the creative side of things, read through these writing prompts.
What if …

1. … your car breaks down along a desolate country road, your cell phone is out of service, and the sign at the gas station you past half an hour ago indicated the next city is 300 miles away.

2. … you wake up tomorrow, go to work/school/etc., and discover that no one knows you, you don’t exist.

3. … you live alone and find a pool of blood in your basement.

4. … you suspect someone is slowly poisoning you.

5. … you’re having coffee at a local shop when a man shoves a package into your hands, asks for your help and then runs.

6. … you could relive the same 24 hours over.

7. … you read your obituary in the newspaper.

8. … you discover your lover is a serial killer.

9. … you meet your alter ego and don’t like what you see.

10. … someone sends you a link to YouTube of a video of you in a place you didn’t mention to anyone.

Now, consider one or more of these prompts. Write an opening paragraph and see what it sparks.

About the author:
Marta Stephens writes crime mystery/suspense. Her books are available online at familiar shops such as all the Amazons, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Books-a-Million, and Powells. Other locations include, but are not limited to those listed on her website.
THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 IPPY Awards, Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
Personal site:
Character Blog:  


Anonymous said...

Writing prompts are great. You've got some nice ones here. I can think of quite a few stories that could grow from these. Thanks for sharing.

Sheila Deeth said...

What fascinating prompts!

Marta Stephens said...

Hi Cher! Glad you found these interesting. I'm sure if you start asking, "What if" you'll never wonder what to write about next. Thanks for stopping by.

s.w. vaughn said...

Nice ones, Marta. The first one made my brain go WHOOSH down a zillion tangents... LOL

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Marta, I love prompts like these. It just motivated me to write an article (will post it soon on MB4) about originality of ideas, and how there aren't too many original themes out there. Should that stop us from exploring an idea already done in another movie? No! For example, I've seen movies/read books with ideas 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7. They were great, but it's the uniqueness of each person's twist on the idea that makes it his or hers! And the ideas that come spouting OUT of the ideas that make it even better. Thanks for this wonderful list of catalysts! Who knows what new works of art our readers will produce now?

Kim Smith said...

Hey Marta! These are sending me straight to the computer to write. Erm. As soon as I finish these edits that is!

Marta Stephens said...

Okay, everyone. I expect to see great stories from you! And if it's a best seller, do dedicated to me. :)

Gale Laure said...

Thanks for blogging in. I hope I have helped someone, somewhere.


Gale Laure said...

Cher and Marta,
My humblest apologies. I blogged in on the wrong blog with the wrong response.
Excuse me, please.