Monday, January 25, 2010

Speculative Fiction Writing Prompts

I've discovered I really enjoy writing prompts. I realize that's not an overly profound statement for a writer to make, but it's true. The writing prompts I tend to enjoy are the short ones--just a few words to no more than a short sentence. These allow my imagination, and therefore my words, to branch out in countless directions.

The writing prompts I've been using are good, but they're very generic. What I mean is that they tend towards the literary-type writing. I make speculative stories out of them, but I'd love to have prompts geared specifically towards my favorite genres: horror, fantasy, and science fiction. Sure, with a Google search you can find some, but I thought it might be a fun exercise for me to come up with my own.

I decided that I'd post a new one every week--probably on Monday. Feel free to do whatever you like with the prompt. If you use it just for a quick warm-up, great. If you're in the #fridayflash group and need an idea, super. If the prompt takes your fiction to a longer piece, excellent. I'd love to hear success stories with these prompts, but don't feel obligated to tell me. I'm just having a good time putting them together.

Sometimes I'll put in the title that it's a horror writing prompt, or a fantasy writing prompt, or a science fiction writing prompt, but don't feel that you need to be bound by that genre when you start putting the words down on paper (or more likely on your computer screen). For example, if I call this--Your favorite video game is actually a training manual for death--a horror prompt, you don't need to make it a piece of horror fiction. You could turn it into a sci-fi piece by having the video game be about saving the human race from space aliens, for example. Or you might make it a contemporary piece about a group using the video game as a recruiting tool. Or you can spin it into a humorous story. The possibilities are endless. I'm sure you've already found a slant that I haven't thought of to make it your own.

So, with that in mind, I'll repeat what this week's writing prompt is: Your favorite video game is actually a training manual for death. Have fun with it! I'll see you here next Monday with another writing prompt!