December 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Introduce yourself all month as a writer
  2. Read an article on writing technique
  3. Two characters are snowbound. What happens?
  4. Write about a non-December holiday
  5. Write about a character who gets engaged
  6. Use this week to write a DOW story
  7. Set a story in the days of radio
  8. Research online markets for your writing
  9. Write a fable for our times
  10. What did you do today? Have a character do the same.
  11. Write a story all in dialogue. No speech tags!
  12. Write about weather you’d consider the opposite of what you’re having today
  13. Write an article on writing, then why not query it?
  14. Write a “what happens next” for a fairy tale or nursery rhyme
  15. Write about an art forger
  16. Write about a writer
  17. Write about a diner at midnight
  18. Write about someone creating something with his/her hands
  19. Write about a deadline. Include consequences of missing it.
  20. Write a character whose birthday falls on or near a holiday
  21. Start with: “If he is awake early enough the boy sees…”
  22. Use these words: nemesis, triumphant, battle.
  23. Describe movement 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  24. List 5 streets in your neighborhood; write for 3 minutes on each.
  25. Write about being true to yourself.
  26. Write about an unexpected return
  27. Read some poetry or short stories today
  28. Write one paragraph of backstory for an existing character
  29. Write about a character eating while something else is going on
  30. Use the theme of “silver and gold”
  31. Dust off an unfinished piece and add an ending before midnight!

November 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about something simmering in a pan.
  2. Write about Fall from a leaf’s point of view.
  3. Make a list of three things your character did when he/she/it was four.
  4. Start a story with “I sealed the envelope.”
  5. Write about a sticky situation.
  6. Explain why you picked a certain name for a character of yours.
  7. End a story with “She poured the tea.”
  8. Write about a dog collar.
  9. Describe your character’s greatest weakness.
  10. Write about a little lie that grows into something large.
  11. Write about a sacrifice.
  12. Use the words “message,” “pumpernickle,” and “wishing well” in a story
  13. Start a story with “Why was the door painted purple?”
  14. Write about a character named Myron Bailey.
  15. Take yesterday’s writing prompt and change Myron’s occupation
  16. Stuck in a story? Change a character’s marital or relationship status
  17. Explain a character’s scar or other physical injury
  18. Research contests and resolve to enter one before New Year’s Eve
  19. Use song lyrics to inspire a story or poem
  20. Write about a clock that stops ticking
  21. Write about the minutiae of your neighborhood.
  22. Use these words: opportunity, truth, image.
  23. List 5 words; 2nd starts w/ last letter of 1st, etc; use each in a sentence.
  24. Describe grief 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  25. Start with: “They were walking along the river path…”
  26. Go people-watching and take your notebook to jot down conversations & ideas
  27. Change a character’s name and rewrite accordingly
  28. Set your story backward or forward in time by 30 years
  29. Begin your story in the middle of the action
  30. Write about a change someone smells coming

October 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about something that was forgotten.
  2. Start with “The week started out a disaster…”
  3. Take a walk. Describe what the leaves look like today.
  4. Write a conversation between a cat and a dog.
  5. Describe a lizard climbing a wall.
  6. Write about coins.
  7. End with “I took a deep breath of fresh air.”
  8. Write about a sports event.
  9. Take a deep breath through your nose. Describe what you smell.
  10. Start a story with “The window was broken.”
  11. Look up. Write a love story between the first two objects you see.
  12. Change characters’ names to ones w/ distinct ethnicity. Edit accordingly.
  13. Include these five elements: water, air, fire, metal, wood
  14. Encourage a friend to do some creative writing (and share TC’s URL)
  15. Do a story or poem based on one of your FUM answers
  16. Indulge in another art form today. Use as writing inspiration.
  17. Use an archived Sunday Brunch prompt to continue today’s exercise
  18. Give your character a weakness s/he believes is a strength
  19. Write about an early snowfall
  20. Stuck? Begin your next paragraph with “The worst thing possible…”
  21. Describe tears 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  22. List 5 things you want to do before you die; write 100 words about each.
  23. Write about a parent.
  24. Start with: “She stands up in the garden where…”
  25. Use these words: delinquent, scion, ingenious.
  26. Write about something that is unnaturally orange
  27. Dragging out the decorations, your character found something. It was…?
  28. Read some poetry. Let it inspire you to economize words.
  29. A secondary character is having a birthday. You main character doesn’t know.
  30. Sign up to receive The Writer’s Almanac!
  31. Write about a character wearing a real or figurative mask

September 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about making hot apple cider.
  2. Write about a man in a car.
  3. Start with “Last September had been warmer.”
  4. Where would you go if you had a magic carpet?
  5. Write about something lurking in a cave.
  6. Describe a fight between two brothers.
  7. Use the words sausage, aerosol, global warming, and balderdash.
  8. What would one of your characters say to your favorite author?
  9. Lie under a tree and look up through the leaves. What do you see?
  10. Create an illness and describe someone who has it.
  11. Write about a cake with candles on it.
  12. End a story with “And then the doorbell rang.”
  13. Start with “Sometimes I’m not so sure about love.”
  14. Write a conversation between two people with opposing viewpoints.
  15. Use the line “pit of my stomach.”
  16. Open a magazine and use the first ad you see as the start of a story.
  17. Write about being stood up.
  18. Write about a character who is an optimist in the face of something hopeless
  19. Choose a song for your character’s “soundtrack.” Explain why.
  20. Write about a stalker.
  21. Start with: “She heard a knocking, and then…”
  22. Write about your first painful memory.
  23. List 5 songs; write for min., incorporating one line of lyrics from each.
  24. Describe lust 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  25. Use these words: engulf, flavor, tide.
  26. Center a story around a personal ad that starts: “MILF looking for fun…”
  27. Write a rejection letter.
  28. Start with “I believe…” and write for minutes.
  29. Creatively incorporate a recipe into a story/poem/essay.
  30. Write a blog entry from the PoV of a person who is extremely pretentious.

August 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Start a story with the first random quote shown when you click this link.
  2. Write about a heat wave.
  3. Write about an ice cube.
  4. Write a story using the words gallery, equipment, raven, and soup.
  5. Describe a garden.
  6. Invent a new summer holiday and describe the customs.
  7. Write a letter to an old friend.
  8. Describe a child’s day at the playground.
  9. What is it like under the ocean?
  10. Have a character do something unexpected.
  11. Write about an insect.
  12. Write a song based on a story you have in mind.
  13. Set a scene in a colony. You choose the colony- space, ant, American, etc.
  14. Write about a journey in the desert.
  15. Start a story with “The bottle was empty.”
  16. Write about a donut.
  17. Describe a painting without using any color words.
  18. End a story with “She watched the milk drip onto the floor.”
  19. Write a paragraph without using the letter e.
  20. Use the words vampire, slippers, poodle, and recipe.
  21. List 5 things you can cook; in cooking-show style, describe how to make one.
  22. Describe laughter 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  23. Use these words: thoughtless, homily, respect.
  24. Start with: “When I turned four, my father taught me…”
  25. Write about something you believe in.
  26. Write about a blade of grass.
  27. Describe a melting popsicle.
  28. Write about a conspiracy.
  29. Write a story with exactly 1words.
  30. Write about something that happens at midnight.
  31. Write about a wilted flower.

July 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write about a day that is too hot.
  2. Start a story with “The lemonade tasted strange…”
  3. Imagine a new invention. Describe what it does.
  4. Write about fireworks.
  5. Write about watermelon seeds.
  6. Start a blog or online journal
  7. Write about a day you wish you could forget
  8. Write about a new love interest
  9. Describe the best kiss you’ve ever had
  10. Write a letter to a childhood enemy
  11. Use the words random, ice cube, television, and robot in a 500 word story.
  12. Write about ants at a picnic.
  13. Write a 50 word story.
  14. Write about a baseball game.
  15. Pick three characters. Have one describe the second to the third.
  16. Start with “I didn’t think the rain would ever stop.”
  17. Write a review of your favorite band
  18. Write a story or scene that takes place in a high school
  19. Write an obituary for one of your characters
  20. Take an ordinary object and write for 5 minutes describing it
  21. Describe anger 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  22. Use these words: yoke, unyielding, weight.
  23. Start with: “The women of this family…”
  24. Write about an “earworm”–a song stuck in your head.
  25. List 5 things you avoid doing; write 50 words about each.
  26. Write about a last minute addition
  27. Read some poetry
  28. Write a 500 word children’s story and post it
  29. Write about an impossible deadline
  30. Begin with “It had been raining for six days.”
  31. Harry Potter’s birthday! Write about a boy wearing glasses

June 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write a book jacket blurb describing a story you are currently working on.
  2. Write about a temper tantrum.
  3. Describe a flower without using any color words.
  4. Start a story with “If I hadn’t lost that nickle…”
  5. Write about mouldy bread.
  6. Write about a “one-tank trip”
  7. Read “The Yellow Wallpaper” and write about anything yellow
  8. Write 500 words in one sitting
  9. Write two nursery rhymes or one children’s story
  10. Pull out an old story and rewrite the last page
  11. Write about a person with claustraphobia.
  12. Savor a hot or frozen drink. Write about the effect on your tastebuds.
  13. End a story with “Of course, the lollipop was grape.”
  14. Take a ride on public transportation. Describe a person you see on the ride.
  15. What would your character do if someone gave him or her a dozen carrots?
  16. Pick a scene you’ve written and rewrite it using a different point of view.
  17. Start a story with “As I was going down the escalator…”
  18. Base a story on this offbeat news item.
  19. Write about a race.
  20. Write about snails.
  21. Use these words: jargon, import, virtual.
  22. Start with: “She wants to write a book about…”
  23. Write about a noise you can’t identify.
  24. List 5 items in your medicine cabinet; write for minutes about one.
  25. Describe voices 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  26. End a story with “She almost believed me.”
  27. Write a scene in which children are fighting over a toy.
  28. Pick a crayon, then use it to write about something that is the same color.
  29. Write about a wedding anniversary.
  30. Describe someone who is eating a grape.

May 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write a review of any movie based on a book.
  2. Write about a character who is mistaken for the opposite sex.
  3. Write about someone fired/expelled for an opinion expressed in a blog.
  4. Write about what someone w/o an heir decides to do with his/her possessions.
  5. Write about a pop culture phenomenon that you just don’t understand.
  6. Use these 5 words in a story/poem: toxic, mustache, mama, sunscreen, motto.
  7. Write about something forgotten.
  8. Describe the perfect treehouse.
  9. Write about a speeding ticket.
  10. Describe a character who is eating pudding.
  11. Write a poem about laundry.
  12. Go to a park. Write about something you see there.
  13. Write about a muddy sneaker.
  14. Create a new color, and write about objects that have that color.
  15. Write about a pebble.
  16. End with “I only saw him once after that.”
  17. Write about a man in a suit.
  18. Write about time travel.
  19. Describe the perfect cookie.
  20. Watch someone in a crowd. Make up a past for them.
  21. List 5 things you can see out your window; write for 3 minutes on each.
  22. Write about a brief encounter.
  23. Start with: “The woman is standing near the window…”
  24. Use these words: bedridden, gnarled, quiver.
  25. Describe envy 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  26. Find a blog with a different perspective than yours & write an entry for it.
  27. Someone has TP hanging out of his/her pants. Write the ensuing conversation.
  28. Take a favorite recipe and incorporate it into a story or poem.
  29. Give 5 pieces of advice to someone considering your career/education program
  30. Write about your favorite pen.
  31. Write about a conflict in a laundry room / laundromat.

April 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Start with “How could I have been such a fool?”
  2. Use these words: ingratiating, verbose, tawdry.
  3. Write about April showers.
  4. Write about a character with an alias.
  5. Write something that takes place during spring break.
  6. Write about a “black Tuesday”
  7. Write from a dog’s point of view
  8. Take one of your existing stories and rewrite the last five paragraphs
  9. Base a story on one of your FUM answers
  10. “Saturday night’s all right for fighting…”
  11. Write about an old coin.
  12. Create a myth explaining a natural event
  13. Write about something that sparkles.
  14. Describe an underground cavern
  15. Write about something that happens during a thunderstorm
  16. Write about the scent of wet earth
  17. Start with “I knew it would be crazy…”
  18. Base a story on a dream you had recently.
  19. End a story with the line “And that’s why I never told him.”
  20. Write about a car trip.
  21. Write about buying a pair of pants.
  22. List 5 clichés; write 300 words that utilize all five.
  23. Describe division 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  24. Use these words: xylem, perpetual, syncronicity.
  25. Start with: “My mother did not tell me…”
  26. Write about a smooth pebble.
  27. Write the same scene from two different points of view.
  28. Rewrite a scene using a different tense or voice.
  29. Write about something orange.
  30. Write about magic.

March 2004
Daily Writing Prompts

A Pen In Each Hand

  1. Write a love letter to yourself.
  2. Describe your favorite soft drink.
  3. Start with “______ wasn’t exactly the sharpest crayon in the box.”
  4. Write an entry in your character’s diary/journal/blog.
  5. Start with “We left the drag show to go to the lesbian bar.”
  6. Your character takes a long bath and thinks of…
  7. Write in a style you’ve never/rarely tried
  8. Write about a father figure
  9. Write a sensory-heavy piece about fire
  10. Open an favorite book and begin reading in the middle
  11. Write a song
  12. Write about a bowl of soup
  13. Start with “No one listened to me when…”
  14. Describe your character’s hands in detail
  15. Practice telling an impromptu story for an audience.
  16. Outline your plot.
  17. Write about a friend from kindergarten.
  18. End with, “I won’t forget it.”
  19. Perform a random act of kindness.
  20. Write a story and use as many swear words as you can think of.
  21. Use these words: lighthouse, zephyr, edge.
  22. Describe joy 3 ways, drawing on a different sense each time.
  23. List 5 books on your shelf; explain why you keep them.
  24. Write about belonging.
  25. Start with: “When the team reached the site…”
  26. Write a five-line poem
  27. Declare this a “reading weekend” and read a book
  28. Continue your “reading weekend”
  29. Write an opening paragraph for an article
  30. Weather permitting, take a walk to get creative energy and fresh air
  31. Write about the phrase “out like a lamb”