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Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Writing Prompt #38


            Technology is a wonderful thing—most of the time. Put a sparkling new gadget in a writer’s hands and the results may not be a warm and fuzzy tale describing the enlightened nature of mankind. And if you want the story to engage readers the exact opposite is the more likely result.

            Scientific journals and magazines are a good source of inspiration for this writing prompt. Find a new technology or an updated to an existing technology and think of a way it could be used for evil or misused with disastrous results. It could even be a matter of unforeseen side affects that threaten to bring ruin. Then write a story around it.

            This can also be done with recent social trends, such as car sharing, reverse brain drain, or the development of mega cities as large as some of our smaller states.

            For my example, I looked at the trend to apply smart technology to everything.

Too Smart – As the man who found a way to link all of the smart technologies together, Howard is known as the Father of the smart world. His plans to enjoy the fruits of his labors are disrupted when his own personal “Smart System” begins to have daddy issues. He must find a way to control his disgruntled child before he is forced to embrace a non-tech lifestyle in a remote region of the world.




Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writing Prompt #37

            PROMPT 37 – VILLAINS FIRST

            While it is important to have a well-rounded set of writing skills the truth of the matter is that some elements in a story are more important to its success than others. Strong opening hooks and a killer tagline are pivotal in attracting an audience to your story, but the villain is often the deciding factor in how much they enjoy it once they immerse themselves into your tale.
            Where would Star Wars be without Darth Vader? Or Silence of the Lambs without Hannibal Lecter? This prompt is based on the premise that you can build a story around an interesting villain.
            Start with a concept for your villain. Maybe you already have one in mind that has been sitting in your character diary for years waiting to get out. If not, take a look at stories with strong villains and either alter one of them to fit your story or combine two of them to create someone completely different. Once you have a villain determine what it is they want and throw the hero in the way.
            For my example, I latched onto the idea of a villain who believes that if he kills the people that he loves they will be with him in the afterlife. So he is motivated out of a fear of being alone and wants to make sure that when he finally dies he will be surrounded by the people who really loved him. I decided to place my villain into a Romance-Horror. (Is that even a category?)

Kill the Ones You Love – After years of dating losers, Mary has finally found the perfect man. He is kind, sensitive, and funny. Her life is perfect until she discovers a link between her fiancĂ© and a serial killer who has murdered his four wives, all of his family, and a large number of his in-laws. How can she convince him to call off the wedding without making him mad enough to kill her?




Writing Prompt #36

            PROMPT 36 – HAZARD DUTY
            Novels, television, and movies are filled with stories about police, fire-fighters, soldiers, and lawyers. These seem to be the professions people consider the most dangerous or dramatic. While in some cases that might be true it doesn’t need to be for the story you are writing.
            Pick a profession and then think of a storyline that puts the character into danger or an otherwise interesting situation. The problem could be fantastic, or mysterious, or even mundane and funny. Selecting an occupation which you have worked will allow you to draw from your personal experience. In not, the story will develop out of your research about the chosen profession.

            These professions were taken from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

            - Dump Grounds Checker (Sanitary Landfill Worker)
            - Laserist (Creates laser light shows)
            - Rug Cleaner
            - TNT Line-Supervisor
            - Senior-Commisary Agent in Air Transportation

One Man’s Garbage – Working at the dump was slow, dull, and stinky. Just the way James liked it—except for the smell. The important thing about it was that his job was blissfully void of any excitement which might over-stress his weak heart. That is, until he noticed that the trucks from one specific company were entering the dump empty and leaving it full. The situation gets worse when he discovers the trucks are being driven by aliens from outer space. Now he has to convince someone in the Federal government that Earth has been invaded before he has a heart-attack or the aliens catch him?