Promptly Creative: September 2016

The detective is about to reveal how three key pieces of evidence explain not only how the crime was committed but also who did it. The evidence? A child’s watering can, a movie ticket stub, and a roll of toilet paper.

What was the crime? How does the evidence link together? Whodunnit? And what happens next?

Promptly Creative: POV Challenge

Character A is informed that Character B has been taken to the hospital after being shot in an armed robbery. B is out of surgery when A arrives but is not yet seemingly awake.

Describe the room, first from Character A’s perspective then from B’s as if he/she is aware of what’s happening though unable to respond. What does each character notice?

Promptly Creative: Living the Dream

Best to never end a story by having your character wake up to find it was all a dream, but what happens when waking up in your dream is just the beginning?

Everyone has bizarre dreams, right?

A year ago, I dreamed that I had been dropped from an airplane into shark-infested waters. The second I hit the water was when I woke up. In the ocean.

Last month, I dreamed I had been buried alive. I rolled out of bed choking on a mouthful of dirt.

Those were nothing compared to what I opened my eyes to this morning.

Will it be horror? Fantasy? Mystery? Have fun and sweet dreams!

Promptly Creative: 60 Days Later

A lot of New Year’s resolutions have been broken by now, but that doesn’t mean they are entirely abandoned. At least, not in this month’s prompt:

It only took two months for my resolution to falter. In sixty days, I had shattered all hope of staying true to the only course of action that could save my life.

Breaking that resolution is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Have fun!

Promptly Creative: Wives (and Grooms) Tale

To celebrate (or curse) Valentine’s Day, take a stab at this month’s story starter:

Morgan stumbled belatedly into the engagement party rain-soaked and ruined. A car that wouldn’t start was a blip on the radar compared to the eviction notice that shuffled its way under the door. Having finally found her way to the party in a downpour, she discovered the happy couple had arranged, insult to injury, a cash bar. Forlornly wringing out the sludge from her skirt hem, Morgan halfheartedly listened to the groom-to-be rattle away into a finicky microphone as she scanned the prices for a glass of wine.

“Turns out, our friends have been making up their own epic versions of how they think an electrician and a SCUBA instructor met, and Jules and I have decided that we want to hear ’em. But let’s make it interesting. Twenty bucks to enter, and you’ll get the chance to tell the whole crowd. The story we like best wins the cash.”

Morgan looked back down at the drinks menu and remembered the wadded bills in her purse; it was either an overpriced glass of Shiraz or a dim chance with whatever story she could weave. The number and sobriety of the giggling attendees already making for their wallets had her reaching for her own.

“And one last thing! There’s a vital clue on the table by the bar. Good luck!”

Morgan looked down at the table next to her to find the rusting metal head and broken shaft of a gardening spade.

Have fun!

Promptly Creative: Bore Me

This month’s writing prompt is a quick exploration into a skill most of us try to avoid, but when the right words won’t come, sometimes the wrong ones need their moment in the sun. Let it be silly, rambling, or disconnected. Just how blandly can you write?

Imagine you’re responsible for getting someone else to fall asleep. Nothing but your words will transport this person into dreamland. What do you say? Keep it going for a solid 5-10 minutes.

Consider whether your charge is:
A. excited,
B. nervous,
C. frightened, or
D. belligerent.

Can you soothe them? No? Attempt to bore them into slumber.

And just for funsies, try writing the absolutely worst thing you could say to try to help.

Promptly Creative: Meet You Later

The young man collapsed into a waiting cab after a hectic day of work. The echoing cacophony of colleagues demanding more and better from him threatened to pound through his skull from the inside, but the pressure was momentarily forgotten at the realization that the cab wasn’t vacant after all.

“Oh! Excuse me, I assumed-”

All apology died in the air as the other passenger turned from the opposite window. Thick white hair topped a grizzled face. Piercing gray eyes leveled with the front seat before a voice that must have gargled sand for thirty years spoke.


The idea of protesting crept by meekly at the back of the young man’s brain, but nothing would have marched out of his mouth if someone had lit the cab on fire.

“Your effects, Commander, as requested,” the  grating words were offered with a glimpse of cracked front teeth, and the young man’s hand was about to close around the extended plump envelope before a touch of reality broke lose somewhere behind his eyes.

“What? I think there’s been a mistake,” he was rather proud of how even his own voice sounded at the moment given his rising panic and the headache that had returned and doubled in the space of a second. “Sorry, I don’t know you, so I’ll just hop out over here in a mo-”

The driver gunned the engine past the idling cars and through oncoming traffic, while the back seat companion restrained the young man with a simple but firm grip on his shoulder.

“Oh, we’ve met, sir. Just not yet.”

. . .

Y’all can take it from here.

Promptly Creative: Weird Rewrite

Roll a die three times and jot down the three results. (If you don’t have a die to hand, pick three numbers between 1 and 6 without looking at the choices below.) Rewrite a short version of the story in the genre and with the requirement that match your numbers.


  1. Oliver Twist
  2. Romeo & Juliet
  3. The Wind in the Willows
  4. Jane Eyre
  5. Charlotte’s Web
  6. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


  1. Horror
  2. Romantic Comedy
  3. Science Fiction
  4. Mystery/Suspense
  5. Young Adult
  6. Western


  1. Original protagonist is now the villain
  2. A pineapple is the key to resolving the conflict
  3. One of the main characters is a ghost
  4. At some point a chicken must be involved
  5. A minor character is a mind reader
  6. The main character is deathly afraid of spiders

So if I rolled a 5, 2, and 6, I would be rewriting Charlotte’s Web as a romantic comedy in which the main character is deathly afraid of spiders. Yup, that should get my brain working…