Saturday Scribes December Writing Prompts

This will be the last writing prompt for ’09, then we’ll be back in January with a special New Year’s prompt.  In the meantime, feel free to browse through any of the older prompts if you need some extra inspiration. Thanks to all the writers who have participated, even during the slower, quieter times.   We’ll see you again in the new year!

Theme: Going home

Words:
never
last call
tomorrow
created
burying

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes (belated) Writing Prompts Oct. 5

Away again over the weekend, once again finding myself without internet access. I keep thinking we’re living in a Bruner/Gibson future where everything is connected, and then finding out my computer isn’t compatible with the hotel’s “plug ‘n’ play” internet access, and that my phone has mysteriously run out of minutes when it should be topping up automatically. Sigh. So here they are, a bit later than expected. Enjoy!

The overall theme for this week’s prompts is by request, in anticipation of All Hallow’s Eve (some of our writers wanted to try their hand at writing a scary story for Oct. 31st). I’ve included more than the usual amount of words, so for this week don’t feel you need to use all of them, just pick whichever ones get your fingers twitching.

Theme: What goes bump in the night

Words:
 darkness
 razor
 
whisps
 slithery
 circling
 black

 patter
 drainpipes
 dripping

 prickle
 tangled
 buried

(All of this week’s words were taken, somewhat randomly, from Neil Gaiman’s Hugo award winning novel “The Graveyard Book“)

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: July 3

Themes:
  My pen is….
  My words are…
  My voice is…
  Need arises for…

Random Words:
 suspended
 bootleg
 naked
 steel

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Impossible Poetry Words

…And other ridiculous challenges for bored writers.

I’ve been collecting random words from friends as part of an ongoing poetry challenge (for  NaPoWriMo over at ReadWritePoem).  The goal was to get at least 50, and I’m up to 144 so far.

Naturally (what with my friends being the kind of over-educated, overly-imaginative geeks that they are), some of the words I’ve been sent are pretty hard to imagine appearing in a line of verse.  So I’ve started up a challenge on one of the writing boards, to take three impossible words and weave them into a short poem, or bit of flash fiction (a minimum of two lines or the equivalent of one sentence, and not longer than 5-6 lines, or a few sentences tops for a story).  Anyone who manages to wrangle the words into something creative gets to pick the words for the next person.

Here was the first (rather horrific) attempt, based on three of the words my friends sent me:
  Aristotelian, flugelhorn, soporific

  With inevitable Aristotelian logic
  that each of the four worldly elements
  will eagerly seek each other’s company
  the flugelhorns,  tubas, French horns and  trombones
  have gathered together to form a soporific symphony
  the audience snores in harmony – oh, if only they were in tune!

(The Vogons would be proud, they would.)

If you’re feeling a strong urge to procrastinate, and you want to spread the evil virus around, here are some more impossible words that my (so-called) friends sent me, to get you rolling:

artichoke, fez, zygomatic, replicator, cholesterol, fatuous, regulator, sorghum, undercarriage

(..and those are but a few..)

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts Feb. 20

Theme: Thirst

Words:
metal
sweat
hurtling
white

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Feb. 6: Breaking the Rules

This week Saturday Scribes is all about breaking the rules.  You can, of course, choose to follow the theme and word prompt as usual if you prefer (located below).  But our challenge to you is to do something different this week.  Take those tried and true writing rules (plot? what plot?) and throw them out the window.  Or – if you’re normally the rebellious type – you could try *following* some of the rules you normally love to hate. 

Whatever you choose to do, let us know what you think about writing rules in general.  What rules do you regularly break?  What classic writing rules do you think should be done away with forever? Are there rules you believe should never be broken?  Feel free to link to other writing rules lists in the comments section, whether they be serious, or tongue-in-cheek (like the following by William Safire):

  • Do not put statements in the negative form.
  • And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
  • If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
    great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
  • Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
  • Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
  • De-accession euphemisms.
  • If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
  • Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
  • Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.
    ~ William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

Theme: revolution

Words:
now
foment
hypocrisy

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts Nov. 20

Theme: Winter’s Edge

Words:
Chill
Glittering
Stab
Mire

Spices:
Cinnamon, Ginger & Cloves

The spices are for the mulled cider, to help chase away the cold of these early winter days.

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompt: Oct. 3rd

It’s back to basics this week for those who prefer the usual fare – plus a few extras for those who crave an added challenge.

Theme: Journey

Words:
conch
stapler
fabulous
enervate

Headline:
Tiger Roams In Hurricane’s Aftermath

For those of you who are more prose-inclined than poetic, the extra challenge for this week is flash fiction.  The dimensions of flash fiction are somewhat flexible – some put it as anything less than 1,000 words, some at 500 or less.  But for our purposes this week (to make your brain work that little bit harder), flash fiction is 250 words or less – that is, roughly one page double-spaced, or half a page single spaced.  The challenge is to write a complete story – beginning to end – in a very few words.  For the prolific writers out there (you know who you are), if a 250-word story feels more like a snack than a meal, feel free to write and post more than one.  Just remember not to put more than one or two links in your comment at a time, or they may be eaten by our faithful anti-spam-bot.

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompts: Sept. 19

Theme: Phenomena

Words:
frog
battery
subsequent

Just the basics this week. As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

Saturday Scribes Writing Prompt: Opposites Day

I know I said it would be back to basics for August, but the truth is I get bored easily, so I decided to flip things around this week.  Rather than finding a way to weave certain words into your writing, you’ll be having to avoid the temptation to use the following five most common words in the English language*:

  1. the
  2. of
  3. and
  4. a
  5. to

That’s it.  Five little words that you’re not allowed to use. And because that might be considered, well, a little bit mean, I’ll keep the theme broad (and optional) for this week:

     Fiction

For those of you who are primarily poets (or normally non-fiction writers), and want to stretch your boundaries a little, consider it an added challenge.  For the rest of you, it should be a walk in the park, so no whining!

[* according to this list, also this one (although it ranks them differently); Wiki has a different list altogether, so if you feel like straying from the pack you can use their list instead]

As usual, remember comments are semi-moderated, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away. Newcomers can learn more about Saturday Scribes here (including how to do a permalink to your post) and read the prompt guidelines here.

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