“You know, maybe running two miles with a sprained ankle wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had.”
I work at a coffee shop and I purposely spell your name wrong on your cup of coffee every time you come in.
This asshole keeps spelling my name wrong on my cup of coffee and I KNOW it’s on purpose because it keeps getting increasingly creative.
We’re seatmates on an airplane and we end up fighting over storage space. We almost end up yelling when your bag moves and I find out you’ve smuggled a tiny puppy on board so it wouldn’t be lonely and I will keep this a secret if you let me pet it.
It’s snowing and I’m walking down the street when you literally come sliding down the hill out of nowhere and crash into some bushes.
I picked up your bag at the airport by accident and now I’m on a quest to find out who you are by using your strange belongings as clues.
“You throw another enchanted snowball at me and we’re going to have a problem.”
Write a poem where each line starts with a different letter of the alphabet, ending when you have used all twenty six letters.
Find a piece of writing and, using the ‘find and replace’ feature, replace the entire use of one word with something else. Re-read the piece, and make it coherent without changing the word you put in.
Write a how-to manual for something that you know you can do well. Write it so someone can complete the task if they follow your instructions.
The first time I ever saw that man I wanted nothing more than to punch him square in the face.
We both find the perfect Christmas tree at the exact same time and I will fight you for it.
Our office is doing Secret Santa and we cheated and found out we’re each others and now we’re trying to top the others present.
We’re both heading home for the holidays but our plane ends up snowed in at the airport. You have soft blankets and I have snacks and in the end it doesn’t turn out so bad.
My house is literally across the street from your house and every year we get into a giant contest to see who has the best Christmas decorations and I WILL WIN THIS YEAR.
You get stuck in your chimney while putting up decorations and I have to rescue you. You want to go back up to save the decorations.
Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
Don’t underestimate the power of red lipstick.
“In about three seconds you’re going to hear a very loud noise. Do not be alarmed.”
I woke up underneath an ornate wooden table in an unfamiliar living room.
That seventh cup of coffee might have been a mistake.
One minute I was sitting in math class, and the next everything was dark and we were missing fifteen people.
Every night my nightmares started the same way.
Take away a character in your story and see how your plot changes.
There is a strange man in my kitchen and I am concerned about how he got there.
It was too cold to be running for my life.
Monday morning I woke up to sirens ringing in front of my house. Sirens are never a good thing, and it obviously made this Monday morning even more annoying than I thought it would be.
Mr. Anderson liked to collect things. Illegal things. I don’t even know how he found some of them. He kept most of them in his living room and they were always a nice conversation starter.
It all started when I walked into a dingy flee market off highway 62.
The shop was small and cramped and filled floor to ceiling with stuff that I’m pretty sure was illegal. In fact, I’m pretty sure that 90% of the whole shop was illegal.
“That can literally be used as a Frisbee. You’re not allowed to make pancakes anymore.”
“That is honestly the worst possible idea I’ve ever heard, and if we try it we are probably going to fail horribly, not to mention the time and effort it’s going to take to even figure out how to do something of that magnitude.”
“Stop coming in through my window. There’s literally a door right there.”
I was having one of those days where you sort of wished you got hit by a car before you reach your destination.
That stupid smug cat sat on top of my TV and looked like it knew something I didn’t.
Write a scene that contains at least three of the tropes below.
Can’t Get In Trouble For Nuthin’
Every day he returned to the same place to take the same picture.
I didn’t want to get burned alive, so I decided to lie. It was a reasonable choice, I think.
That is the smallest ghost I have ever seen.
“I told you not to drink that, you moron.”
It took three days before we realized it was the wrong skeleton.
“Okay. We’re going to stop for a minute and pretend everything is okay.”
“Why is there a dragon in my refrigerator?” “It was hot.”
“One cursed object in the house was enough. Why do you keep bringing in more?”
“It’s okay. If something goes wrong, we can always use the spaceship.”
The drink was bitter and tasted like battery acid, and it burned all the way down. He coughed and forced himself to swallow. He hoped the taste was worth it.
“I love you from the bottom of my heart, but I don’t trust your cooking. Stay out of my kitchen.”
The house was on fire. And, you know, that’s not really something I want to deal with this early in the morning.
I fell asleep in California. I did not wake up in California.
The beginning of the apocalypse started when a unicorn fell from the sky and landed on the roof of my car. It was fine, honest, and it ate my steering wheel. I was so distracted by this that I almost missed the rest of the apocalypse.
“I might be wrong, but I don’t think pulling a knife on someone is going to make them like you more.”
“Look, we both know he’s not going to stay dead for long. Let’s get out of here.”
The mansion was dark and cold and honestly looked like it was about to fall down from neglect. Naturally, we couldn’t wait to get inside.
I went fishing for trout and came back with something that talked and sang and tried to swim in my bathtub.
Time stopped for a moment before it sputtered back to life, like a flickering candle.
I have only broken one bone in my life and it was a complete accident. I have had multiple concussions, however, and at least one of them was on purpose.
“You just need to accept the fact that, if you bring me with you, the worst thing possible will happen at all times.”
We spend the longest night of our lives in the dark.
“I just want you to leave tonight and think the world is a little less horrible than you thought.”
I didn’t really know what to do with the hole in the floor, so I shoved a rug over it and hoped nobody would notice.
Sometimes the situation just calls for a scream, so I did. This was not one of those times. But, you know, I felt better after it was all over, so that’s something.
The Grim Reaper was…smaller than I expected.
I accidentally turned into someone else today.
I woke up in the middle of the night to something standing at the foot of my bed.
Another headstone disappeared out of the cemetery today.
“I can’t believe we’ve been here less than fifteen minutes and we’re already lost in a corn field.”
“It’s only on fire a little bit. You can still use it.”
Today I found out that popcorn made a great improvised weapon.
“Midnight. Bring everything and come alone. I’ll be waiting.”
The town looked normal enough, until you actually tried to talk to somebody.
The Year When Nothing Good Happened
I am Death: This Is My Story
How To Domesticate Dragons: Part 1
A Novice at Quantum Physics: Quantum Mechanics for Dummies
I Spent a Week Waiting For The Love of My Life, Then Said “Fuck it” and Moved On
Character: Spring break teenagers on a road trip.
Conflict: Oops, that’s not our luggage. And that’s definitely not our suitcase full of drugs.
The old house was perfect and neat and covered in green foliage and colorful flowers. They thought it looked rather like a gnome house, with its tiny windows and mushrooms in the front yard, and they found it unsettling and surprisingly creepy.
Person: A cafe employee waiting for a late delivery truck.
Place: The nearly empty parking lot in front of the cafe.
Thing: A delivery of something besides the expected groceries.
Footsteps in the attic woke them.
“I don’t know how you did it, but you just broke seventeen computers in half an hour. We’ll never be master hackers at this rate.”
He knocked on her door at ten minutes to midnight.
We’re chaperoning a bus full of kids on their way to the zoo and the bus breaks down. Now there’s 30 grumpy kids we need to keep entertained and I find you’re really good with kids and holy crap that’s kind of attractive.
You’re ringing me out at the register and I can feel the questions you want to ask because I’m buying balloons and chocolate sauce and q-tips and a pineapple. Stop judging me it’s for a prank I swear.
I slam on my breaks to avoid hitting a dog but you end up running into my car instead. At first you’re mad because hello, both our cars are dented now but then you don’t mind so much because it turns out it’s your dog.
It’s cold and icy outside and I slip on a small hill and slide down like an out of control hockey puck and I completely bowl you over and we both end up sliding the rest of the way down the hill.
We are two months away from Christmas and I can hear you playing non stop Christmas music even though we live a whole floor apart in our apartment building. I go up to tell you to chill, dude but uh oh you’re cute and you offer me cookies and eggnog.
“If you try to steal my cat one more time I’m going to booby-trap my front porch.”
“Look, I gotta go overthrow a branch of the government, can we do this after I get back?”
They waited and waited through storms and nights and sunshine and snow and holidays and nightmares and birthdays and slowly pieced themselves back together, but she was gone, and there was nothing they could do about it.
The first time I saw a dead body across my History classroom, I almost fell out of my chair.
The thief hadn’t always lived there.
The ancient safe had sat in the attic for as long as anyone could remember.
She’d had a ghost in her house for three years.
I walk into the stock room at work and you’re halfway through a window and seem to be balancing on a stack of boxes. You don’t even work here what the HELL do you think you’re doing.
You’re my neighbor and it just snowed like two feet in six hours and the whole street is snowed it. I catch you building a snowman army in your backyard and I decide to join you by starting a snowball fight.
We’re researching the same art piece at a museum for a school paper and we get into so many arguments about the symbolism that the security guard has to escort us out.
If you set off one more firework at 3 am I will fight you.
Howdy new neighbor I know you probably don’t know my name but you smiled at me the other day and you seem pretty nice so can you please help me and kill the giant spider in my kitchen. I will gift you with food.
Her journey led her to a desert where it never rained and footsteps never faded.
The first murder happened in the middle of the night. The night was dark and cold, and only one house had their lights on.
“I don’t care if you panic, just panic quietly.”
I work next door to where you work and one day you run in asking for 6 bags of ice from our freezer and I demand to know why.
You’re a firefighter and I have to explain to you why and how I managed to catch my metal work desk on fire.
You’re my neighbor in an apartment building and all of a sudden the fire alarm goes off and next thing you know we’re stuck outside in three inches of snow. You were smart enough to grab a blanket. Can we share please I’m freezing.
I own a taxi and this is the third time in a week that you’ve jumped in and said “Follow that car.” I’m not taking you anywhere until you tell me what the heck you’re doing and why.
I’m sorry I started reading over your shoulder on the bus and I’m extra sorry I started commentating on it.
Of course, we found the creepiest park that ever existed and decided it was a great place to explore. I needed to find new friends.
“So, yeah. Maybe buying a creepy doll on the day before Halloween wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever head. But since we have it, what are we gonna do with it?”
There was an abandoned house at the end of the street. They didn’t know who, if anyone, owned it, and they thought it would stay that way. So it was a surprise to the whole town when a sign appeared, crooked and black and hanging on the fence, that proclaimed “Enter”.
Everyone came for miles to see the witch.
“If that pumpkin gets stuck on your head I’m not helping you get it off.”
The night was dark and cold when all the candles on the street winked out in one breath.
“It’s 2am and you’re deciding you want to go on an adventure now?”
This is the only apartment left that isn’t thirty miles away from our college and we have to share it because we both procrastinated until the last minute. Please don’t be a weirdo.
We’ve never met but our mutual friends can’t mind their own business and keep trying to set us up in increasingly ridiculous ways.
I’m your new neighbor and you bring me a pizza my first night in my new house because we don’t have electricity yet.
I wake you up in the middle of the night because, yeah, I know it’s 3 am but I need cookies that I don’t have and I’m trying to bake but I’m out of eggs. Can I borrow some please?
Your cat wanders into my house and I thought it was a stray so I adopted it and fed it and bought it a collar and toys and a bed and now we’re fighting over who gets to keep the cat.
You’re my seatmate on an airplane and we just dropped like forty feet. Now you’re in my lap and won’t let go.
It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and we both ended up at a dingy diner and we’re the only people here besides the waitress. Can I buy you a cup of coffee?
You’re a night guard at a museum. I’m a thief. You catch me trying to steal an ugly painting off the wall.
We’ve never met but we’re accidentally wearing matching Halloween costumes to this party.
We live in the same dorm and for some reason you’re wandering around at 3am. I’m pretty sure you’re sleep walking and I don’t know if I need to wake you up – DON’T COME IN MY ROOM WHAT ARE YOU DOING.
The day started with a problem, as Mondays are apt to do.
“If you change your mind, send me the coin. I’ll know what it means.”
“You know, looking back now. I realize that could have gone a whole lot better.”
The world sort of shimmered as it faded away.
It was only noon and I had been shot twice and hit over the head with a flower vase. I’d hate to see what the rest of the day has in store for me.
“…and then she screamed, I screamed, we both hit the ground, and the pumpkin exploded. I then realized that letting them in the kitchen was a very bad idea.”
My backpack made a noise. I got some strange looks.
“Look. Whenever the thing that’s trying to kill you suddenly runs away, it doesn’t mean he’s scared of you. It means there’s something giant and horrifying behind you about to eat your face off.”
I found it on the roof, thrown halfway across the chimney and hanging upside down near the gutter.
I wanted to find out why the old abandoned shed in the woods had a new lock on the door.
“If you don’t stop trying to summon demons in my living room I’m going to smack you.”
My day started with a phone call and ended chasing an enraged dinosaur down main street.
We have mutual friends who demand a road trip together. We’re the only ones left after everyone gets drunk and passed out in the back of the van and there’s no one left to talk to besides each other.
“Holy crap did you just stab a demon?”
You can’t cook and keep setting the fire alarms off and I’m trying to study dammit. I’m going to teach you how to cook if it’s the last thing I do.
Oh shit you’re not actually a burglar. Um…oops?
My car broke down and you’re the only human I’ve seen for hours please don’t be a serial killer.
“You don’t look half bad for a dead man.”
The town looked like it needed a quote from Dante’s Inferno stamped somewhere.
“I don’t want to solve my own murder. This is stupid, and should be impossible.”
“So, basically, I look like I’ve been mauled by a werewolf. That’s not surprising since that’s exactly what happened.“
“Well, we saved the world again. How long do you think it’s going to last this time around?”
“He gave me a look that would melt ice…”
“I may be undead but that doesn’t mean I’m living.”
“Apparently, setting it on fire hadn’t been the smartest thing we could have done. Uh…oops?”
I died again today. It wasn’t my fault this time, I swear.
“Why are you in my kitchen? Why is that on fire? You don’t even live here.”
She always worked on the yard at the end of the street, her and her garden a permanent fixture in the neighborhood, until she wasn’t.
The Very Strange Book of Very Strange Things
Lies Everybody Wants To Hear
Love in the Time of a Zombie Apocalypse
A House of Impossible Things
“Is that it? We should be done by the end of the day!”
“Well not now, you just jinxed us to working on this for weeks!”
It was an unfair and cruel law of the universe that the more you wished for a good day the more likely some idiot was going to rear end your car.
When the phone went to voicemail in the middle of the night, she didn’t expect the gravely voice that spilled into the room.
“There’s a car waiting outside, get in. Say nothing. Bring nothing. Don’t answer the phone.”
Write about the strangest holiday tradition you can think of.
For the second time in a week she stood at the door to the basement, and listened as something heavy started climbing the stares.
I wish I could say I was drunk when this happened, but no, this major fuckup happened when I was completely sober.
She woke up in the aisle of an empty train.
“Look, I don’t know what you tell you. Hide it and if I’m not back by tomorrow morning, it’s yours.”
“Hey, get your scrawny butt out of my parking space.”
Trying to sway potential customers with increasingly outrageous marketing gimmicks.
Fighting over the fact that they both serve the same food.
Character A uses Character B’s signature dish, with Character B not being happy with that.
“I’ve made sandwiches all day and if I see another one I’m gonna be sick, wanna go get Chinese food after work?”
“My truck broke down. Help me please?”
“I bet I can make more money than you in a day.”
“Squirrels! You sold me an apartment inhabited by demon rodents. Do you hate me? What have I ever done to you? Don’t you dare hang up on me-”
If I die because of that idiot I’m going to haunt him for the rest of his life.
“I love you,” came the whisper. And this time, she almost believed it.
“If you don’t stop talk8ing with the weather I’m going to smack you.”
My dad hates your dad let’s piss them off and pretend to date.
We both ended up in in the emergency room at the same time and bond over strangely acquired injuries.
We end up with each others suitcases after a panicked layover flight.
Howdy neighbor please remove your dog from my couch I don’t even know how he got in.
Could’ve-would’ve-should’ve-beens made up her whole life. It wouldn’t be fair for it to stop now.
Confessions of a Brand New Wizard
Write about a cookout that ends with a few explosions.
“I don’t understand how you got into my house but don’t just stand there help me with these groceries.”
It was at times like this that they felt miniscule against the backdrop of the universe, and that was the best feeling in the world.
I’m going to assume you mean one of mine, and for what, exactly, you don’t say. So I’m gonna take a giant leap here and say it’s for writing, so yes.
A tiny church sat flush against a row of trees. Their journey would start here.
The broken train tracks stretched out far against the horizon, carving a sharp path through the trees.
Every day for a week, a new book appeared on her bookshelf overnight.
It’s really cold and wet outside and I’m wearing a light jacket because it’s the middle of spring, dammit, and you offer me your nicely prepared winter jacket.
I’m sitting in a coffee shop. You have a cat in your jacket pocket and I am intrigued.
“I despise you more than any other human I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. You’re loud and wild and don’t care about anybody but yourself. You also act like you have the mental capacity of a five year old.”“Are you flirting with me?”
“…That is a very deadly fruit basket.”
Write about your character finding out a horrible secret about their boss the night before they start their new job.
It only took three seconds for the world to start over. They stood there in the dark with crossed fingers and hoped for the best.
A writhing shadow emerged from the fire. It was snow and sinuous, and the longer they stared, the clearer the image became until something tumbled out of the fireplace.
It only took one. It doesn’t matter if it’s one in a hundred or one in a thousand or one in a million. It only took a split second of luck, and that was all he needed.
There were no roads here. There was no need for man-made paths when slick frozen rivers became highways that never thawed.
She had made them, and so she felt no guilt in taking them apart. Piece by piece and page by page, she set fire to the work that took a lifetime.
It always snowed at sundown now. You get used to it.
She gave up everything. Fortune seeking and treasure hunting and looking for glory, so they started finding her instead.
“Not when my question was, ‘Is this going to explode?’”
Her day went from “Okay” to “Pretty good” to “Uh oh” to “Fuck fuck shit motherfucking hell” really, really fast.
She could read magic. Not like the others, who just knew it existed, but felt it and saw it and named it. She knew it moved in colors, and had a depth far larger than anyone thought, and saw how it breathed and moved and came from the soul.
She looked in the books and marked every tipping point where it all went wrong.
It was a very long game of pretend that involved lots of hair dye and new clothes and tattoos of birthmarks.
“I don’t like you, or trust you, or even care about you. But she does, so I’m going to listen to you, and follow you, and hope to hell you know what you’re doing. Because if you don’t, we’re both going to die.”
She didn’t actually faint. The world went darker and she couldn’t breathe and she ended up on the floor, but her eyes never left the man standing before her.
There was a heavy desperation in seeing the snow. It was cold and numbing and froze her all the way down to her toes and required plenty of blankets and a warm fireplace to feel normal again. But she couldn’t stop herself from taking his hand and showing him her most favorite thing in the world.
“Did you just shoot me? What is wrong with you?!”
“If it makes you feel any better, I didn’t do it on purpose.” “No! It does not, in fact, make me feel any better!”
“It’s amazing watching your ego. If it gets any bigger we won’t need a car, we’ll just hang on to you and float wherever we need to go.”
The dragon was smaller than she thought it would be. Lithe, grey, and curled protectively around a stray silver dollar, she wondered what it was doing in her living room.
There was only one thing left in the empty city and her job was to kill it.
Unfortunately, as humans are not omniscient or particularly genius about anything and everything that can be learned, we need help sometimes. That’s what I’m here for. Ladies and gentleman and others, I present to you the absolute Masterpost of all things writing.
It felt like 60 but the sign said 80 …
He couldn’t decide if he was grateful for not being alone, or hate the fact that his company was a bunch of pixies.
I woke up nowhere near where I fell asleep. It’s a talent I have.
“Yes, yeah, small favor, okay? Really small favor, right. I just need you to hold onto this bomb, for, like, a few seconds. ’S not ready yet, so there’s that. Just take it real quick.“
The village was hidden in the middle of everything, and nobody saw it unless they wanted to.
Somebody keeps replanting my rose bushes.
It was a hot, heavy morning when she found herself in standing in three inches of sand just outside Nevada.
It was found buried in the forest under a pile of green leaves.
There is a giant stone tablet in her living room and it wasn’t there a minute ago.
“If I hear one more cat pun I’m kicking all of you.”
“What’s the point of having free will if you can’t say “Fuck destiny” every once and a while?“
Once upon a time, one too many angels fell from the sky.
There is one mirror in my house and it’s kept under lock and key.
It only took fifty two seconds for sixteen people to disappear into thin air.
Animals tend to be the best alarm systems. if they suddenly kick up a fuss, it’s time to move. If they go completely silent, it’s really time to move.
Summer came hard and fast, and brought the temperature up thirty degrees overnight. For a place that was used to nothing but snow and ice, this was nothing short of a calamity.
Every night footsteps appear down main street. They come in pairs, wind around streetlamps and across benches, and always disappear before they reach the end of the street.
The circus appeared overnight.
The sand was pink and smooth. Water lapped at the edge of the beach and brushed layers away in smooth strokes, and it was at that point they realized it wasn’t sand at all.
“I don’t care if you believe me or not,” the fox said, “But if you want to get out of here, you’re going to have to listen.”
Whoever said cheaters never prosper never tried it my way.
“Am I qualified to work on this? No. Am I going to work on it anyway? Hell yes.”
With a great splash and a heavy thump, a sinuous creature rose out of the water and made a dive toward their boat.
“For what it’s worth, I honestly thought we’d be dead by now.”