Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday -- Books & Reading Edition

I've begun a Reading Elimination Tournament where I am taking 64 unread books off of my overloaded shelves and giving away the ones that I don't want to (or may never) read.  For details about the tournament and how you can get free books, check out The 15-Minute Writer: Reading Elimination Tournament -- 64 Books, So Little Time.

Since I'm thinking about books right now, here are my book/reading related writing topics for the week:
  • What is your favorite book of all time? How many times have you read it? What makes it your favorite?
  • What book are you reading right now? What do you think about it?
  • What is the worst book that you ever finished reading?  What kept you reading it?
  • If you could only select 5 books to take with you on a desert island, what would they be?
  • Write about your library or favorite bookstore.
  • How do you select a book that you buy?  Read reviews? The blurbs on the back cover or book jacket? Read the first chapter?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday -- Don't say it. And 11 Other Writing Prompts

For June 24th, 2011, as well as another provocative photo prompt for you:

  • When the job is done...
  • Just don't tell your...
  • I read somewhere you...
  • I lost my...
  • Does it work?
  • She's gone.
  • Don't say it.
  • It's your TV.
  • If you want to make...
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, rate...
  • Honey, I'm home.
  • I will tell you all.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday -- The Hunger Games Edition

The hunger games by suzanne collins free giveawaySuzanne Collins' book, The Hunger Games has enthralled audiences of all ages (myself included) and is a textbook example of how to write popular fiction.  This week I'm going to list writing topics inspired by the book:

WARNING: These topics contain some minor spoilers about the book.
  • Hunger -- When was the last time that you felt gnawing hunger? How did it change your mindset? How do much do you think that it impacted the personalities of the characters in the story? Write about hunger.
  • Competition -- Competition and games have been part of humanity since almost the beginning of time. We have entire TV networks devoted to games. Can you see something like the Hunger Games emerging once again in the world?
  • Trust -- Surviving the Hunger Games involves a great deal of paranoia on the part of Katniss.  She is always questioning who she can trust, and how much she can trust them. Write about trust.  Why is it so important?  What is life like without it?
  • Hunting -- Have you ever hunted?  What was it like? How did you feel?
  • Sacrifice -- Katniss volunteers to take the place of Prim during the Reaping with the knowledge that she will die as a result of this sacrifice.  Sacrifice makes no sense for self-preservation, but you hear about incidences of it all of the time.  What things are you willing to sacrifice your life for?
  • The Games -- How well do you think you'd fare in the games?  Could you kill with the knowledge that others would kill you?  Could you kill in cold blood?  Betray an alliance?
  • Big Brother -- In the arena, the contestants know that there are cameras on them at all times.  This awareness impacts the characters actions, including the creation of a "fake" romanace between Katniss and Peeta.  There are more and more cameras out there in the world, watching us everywhere. How do you feel about this? How do you think this impacts our behavior?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday -- She Meant Business + 11 Other Writing Prompts

More random provocative phrases and the greatest photo prompt EVER for June 17th, 2011:
  • She meant business.
  • Got a question?
  • I was a bit disappointed with...
  • I make stuff up.
  • If that thing falls on me...
  • You should buy...
  • We have all made promises...
  • Oh, he's famous for...
  • You're the one...
  • I'm painfully aware of...
  • Someone was trying to kill me...
  • I'm with my girlfriend...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Writing Topic Tuesday - Summer Vacation 12 Writing Prompts for June 14th, 2011

Summer time always brings back memories of freedom. Of childhood hours spent idly with friends or doing whatever I wanted. As an adult, I relive these experiences through my kids and our planned trips.  The beginning of summer vacation has energy so take some time to explore it.

Here are the suggesting writing topics to explore for June 14th, 2011:
    Sunrise - Waves
  • The best summer vacation trip you've ever had. When was it? Who was it with? What are the memories that make it special?
  • The summer vacation from hell (think National Lampoon's Vacation here). This is the trip where everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.  List all of the excruciating details.
  • What your average summer day was like growing up?  What did you do each day?  Who did you spend your time with? Was there any sort of a routine for you?
  • Summer blockbusters -- Every summer Hollywood pulls out all of the stops to try to create that memorable, runaway movie hit.  What were some of the memorable summer blockbusters for you?
  • Swimming -- One of the activities always associated with summer.
  • Summer Traditions -- Did you have any growing up or now? Were they events such as a family reunion or a trip to a specific place such as a relative's house, amusement park, or festival?
  • Baseball -- Were you in Little League? Or just a fan of a professional team? What are your summer baseball memories?
  • Being away from home -- Did you ever go to summer camp?  Or take a job far away from home and experience living on your own?
  • Summer music memories -- Pop music has a way of etching a time into your memory. Are there any songs that help you define a particular summer? Explore them.
  • Summer jobs -- Did you run your own lawn mowing service in the neighborhood? A lemonade stand?  Get a job taking care of pets or house sitting for a neighbor? What about a temporary job as a lifeguard at a pool, a day camp counselor, or in retail or fast food?
  • If you could have a summer completely free of responsibility. What would you do with it?
  • Summer reading program -- As a member of AP English classes, I always had assigned summer reading assignments. Sometimes I read the books, other times I read the Cliff Notes.  But I always read for pleasure, and even now remember the books I read during a particular summer vacation very well.  What are the books that tie to summer for you?

Friday, June 03, 2011

Provocative Phrase Friday -- 12 Writing Prompts for June 3rd, 2011

Nothing fancy about these provocative phrases.  Just selected at random out of my existing tickets. 

But NEW this week is the Provocative Photo Prompt of the week.  Since they say that "a picture says a thousand words" surely you can come up with a few hundred for a photo. So use the photo to begin a story.  You can do this by description or imagining what is happening within the photo itself.

Making A Note
  • People don't die.
  • I have written to...
  • I stared at my feet.
  • Can you drive?
  • This is huge.
  • Take good care of it.
  • You decide to stop...
  • Oops, we're in trouble.
  • I always knew...
  • Once you decide...
  • She'll never know you can't...
  • There's more to it.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Free Writing e-Books Recommended by Jane Friedman

I met Jane Friedman at the Columbus Writer's Conference several years ago. She was friendly and approachable, and took the time to review the manuscript for Flash Writing: How to Write, Revise and Publish Stories Less than 1000 Words Long.  Even though it wasn't a fit for Writer's Digest Books at the time, she let me know the specific reasons why (flash fiction was still too much of a niche market back in 2004, and the book was just too short).  She didn't have to take the time to do this, but she did and I am still grateful for it.

Her Twitter feed and blog is a must read for anyone in the "Word Business."  She is one of the most brilliant minds out there on all aspects of writing and publishing. She speaks at writers conferences all over the country and if you get the chance to see her speak, take it. You won't be disappointed.

Here is her link to the 5 Free e-Books that Every Writer Needs.  Check it out!