Tag Archive | Creative Writing Prompt

Creative Writing Prompt: Writing Your Character’s History

In this writing prompt we are going to use this gentleman I found over at Morguefile.

As you create your characters, take time to write their personal histories.  The more you  create about your characters, the easier it will be for you to write how they will respond to the situations you write for them.

Baby Boomer in Denial

Baby Boomer in Denial  

So, going back to our old man let’s answer some questions about him.

1.  What is the name his mother gave him?

2.  What name does he go by these days?  What does it have to do with his personality or his history?

3.  Why is this man living on the streets?  Does he have an addiction?  Is he mentally ill?  Is he just down and out?

4.  Take 20 seconds and look into his eyes.  Write the first thing that comes to your mind.

5.  Look at his hands.  Describe his fingers, fingernails, knuckles, etc.  What occupation do you think he might have had?

6.  Look at his cuffs.  They don’t match.  Even though you can’t see everything he has on use your imagination and fill in the missing pieces.  Tell  some of the history of the outfit.  How long has it been since it was clean?  Does he have socks and properly fitting shoes on his feet?

7.  If his life could be different what would he wish it to be?

Once you finish writing about this man, take it a step further and write an interaction with another character.

Choose from this list.

1.  A social worker

2.  One of his children

3.  A business person

4.  Another street person

5.  Something supernatural


Photo found at Morguefile

Creating Characters: The Good and The Bad

Every story needs to have two strong characters-the protagonist (the good guy) and the antagonist (the bad guy).  Without them there is no conflict and no motivation for the characters to do what they do.  If everybody gets along, your story is nothing more than those sappy Christmas letters we all get every year. 

Take a look at these two gentlemen.  Choose one to be your protagonist and one to be your antagonist.

Answer these questions about your protagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views.

4.  Does he realize that the other guy is out to get him?

5.  What must he do to overcome the bad guy?

Answer these questions about your antagonist:

1.  What is his name?

2.  What is he doing in this scene?

3. Fill in five details about him.  Married or single?  Rich or poor?  Mannerisms, goals and desires, perceptions, and views. Is there a back story that will tell us why he is the way he is?

4.  What is his evil plan?  Write a short monologue in which the character outlines how he will defeat the protagonist.

5.  What is his motivation?   Why must he hurt or trick another person?

Do this exercise again and switch the characters.

Photo found on MorgueFile

Creative Writing Prompt-Find the Mystery

I loved this picture!  Why? There are so many elements to work with in this scene.  At first glance you see an empty wheelchair but take a moment to think about this picture and the story it could be telling you to write.

1.  The wheelchair is empty.  Where is the occupant?  Did he or she fall out into the water?  Does this person need to be rescued?  Is this person rescuing someone else?

2.  What is that shiny thing near the edge of the pier?  Is it a light?  Is it an ipad?

3.  Who is the person who is casting the shadow.  What are they holding?  A gun?  A cell phone?  Could it be the person in the chair?  Could it be someone who would cause harm to the person in the chair?

Take this picture and turn it into a mystery. 

Be sure to reveal where this is taking place, a protagonist, an antagonist and a motivation.  For instance, this story is taking place on a hot day in Florida.

The protagonist is a really nice nurse who is pushing this person around in a wheelchair.

The antagonist is the person in the wheelchair who can really walk but is filing for an insurance settlement.

The nice nurse finds out and the antagonist must get rid of her so dumps her in the sea after she says she’s not much of a swimmer.

The shadow?  That’s the antagonist calling for another nurse, of course.

The twist?  The nice nurse is a competitive swimmer who is trying to start over after losing at the Olympics and is now secretly swimming to shore to get the police.

So fun!  Now write your own story.

Picture found on Morgue File

Only a few more days until…

Is This A Good Day Or Bad Day? Establishing Tone in Your Writing

After reading a great blog post on Wordplay about establishing tone, I thought it might be a good idea to work on a scene using two different tones.

Here we have a scene from a wedding. As you look at the picture you can easily identify the bride, but which guy is the groom?  Is it the one holding the lady in pink’s hand or is it the other man with the glasses?  As you look at this photo think about all of the relationships that might occur between these people.  Notice the man who is standing off to the side watching the whole scene.  Who is he?  A long lost love?  The guy with the bill from the caterer?  Use your imagination and create the characters in this scene.

Once your characters are created,  write the scene–twice.  The first time you write about the wedding make your tone light and upbeat.   Maybe there is some jealousy going on but because the bride and groom are in love they will simply laugh about it later.  Maybe the lady in pink is a real pain in a funny way and the characters have to deal with her.

The second time make your tone dark.  The bride is all smiles but what is she really hiding?  Who is the man at a distance?  What’s really going on with this lady in pink?

I still have my book giveaway going on for my second book Overdue For Murder.  I am giving away three copies in a random drawing being done over at Goodreads.  Please go over and put in an entry.  The giveaway ends on July 31, so hurry!

Click here to go to Goodreads For Your Chance To Win!Overdue for Murder by Teresa Trent 

Writing Can Be Murder!
When local writers present their books on romance, vampires, chick lit and alien abductions at the Pecan Bayou Library, one author gets a killer review.  Betsy Livingston, there to talk about her book on helpful hints, finds herself point at for the murder.  Join Betsy in her second mystery as she tries to clear her own name in this hilarious tale of small town Texas life and murder. Available at Amazon.


Photo Submitted by Clarita at Morgue File.

Creative Writing Prompt-Make Your Setting Another Character

Today we are going to work on using the setting to further the character development.  In our scene we have a young couple in midsummer on the beach.  The setting can become a third character by becoming the catalyst that changes the decisions of the human characters.  If you are writing a book or short story and have decided on your setting. find several pictures to spur your imagination.  When I wrote my first book A Dash of Murder, I probably had ten pictures of various abandoned tuberculosis hospitals to refer to.  The broken down building became yet another thing for my heroine to deal with.  I knew I had done it right when one of my aunts called me to tell me she had visited someone in a hospital like that in the thirties and that my description brought it all back to her.

Answer these questions for your beach scene:

1.  What is the date?  What is the temperature?  How hot is the sand?  Is there a breeze?  Describe the texture of the sand, is it wet or dry or rocky?  How clean is the coastline?  How warm is the water?  How bright is the sun?  What does the beach smell like?  Fresh air?  Hot dogs?

2.  How old is the man?  What is his name?  What is his mood today?  Why is he looking forward and not at the woman?  Is he involved with this woman or are they friends or relatives?  What on this beach has him quietly thinking while looking at the water?

3.  How old is the woman?  What is her name?  Is she texting, calling someone, or answering her phone?  Why is she not paying much attention to the man?  What is her mood?  Is she angry or just distracted?  What is her relationship to the man? Is there something about this beach that has her so distracted?

4.  Twist the plot-These two people will never be on this beach again together.  Why?


Photo Source: DuBoixMorguefile

Creative Writing Prompt-Basketball Dad

In celebration of Father’s Day we will write creatively about fathers and sports.  Some dads live for sports and seeing their children compete in them, while others are not quite as into the world of sideline coaching.  I attended a soccer game once where a father yelled such disparaging remarks at his young son that the entire crowd of parents turned on him.  Luckily, that dad’s behavior was a rare occurrence.  Take a look at the father and daughter to the right and write a short dialogue scene after filling in the details about these characters.

1.  What is the father’s name?  Is he a coach or on the sidelines?  How old is he?  Is he employed?  Is he a single or married dad?  Is he giving supportive advice or the opposite?

2.  What is the daughter’s name?  Is she a good player?  Does she follow the rules of the game?  Does she appreciate her father’s advice?  Is she nervous about playing basketball with the rest of the kids down the court?  How old is she?  What kind of student is she?

3.  Take this everyday situation and twist it to make it more interesting.  Whatever the father is telling the little girl is going to change her game completely.  It could be encouraging, funny, sad, produce anger or produce excitement.

Write a short scene using mostly dialogue between these two characters.



This photo was submitted by dravenh at The Morgue File.

Writing Prompt: Dancing!


This photo was submitted by Clarita at Morgue File. She has more photos at her photography blog:

In honor of the Dancing With the Stars finale won by a Houstonian, Donald Driver, our writing prompt this week deals with ballroom dancing.  I loved this photo because there are so many emotions that can be identified in such a dramatic dance.  Use this to write about this couple and their relationship.  Read through all the questions below and then start answering.

1. What is the woman’s name?  What is her age?  Name one emotion that describes her this night.

2.  What is the man’s name?  What is his age?   Name one emotion that describes him this night.

3.  What is their relationship?  Married?  Dating? Married, but to other people? Did they just meet?  Is this their first dance or one of many?

4.  Look at the tilted angle of the photograph.  Take that tilt and make it a tilt in the dancers’ story.  Is he a bully?  Is she?  Is one of them overly dependent on the other?  Is one of them taking advantage of the other?

5.  Where does this couple go from here?

“To dance is to reach for a word that doesn’t exist,

To sing the heartsong of a thousand generations,

To feel the meaning of a moment in time.”

– Beth Jones

Write your dancing scene.  Tell us about your scene in a summary in the comment section of the blog!

Creative Writing Prompt for Mother’s Day

Here is our creative writing prompt for Mother’s Day.  As you look at the picture below fill in these details about the two characters.

1.  Name the mother and describe her including body shape, hair and clothing.

2.  Name the child and describe him/her including body shape, hair and clothing.

3.  Identify the situation.  Is the mother scolding the child?  Is the mother reassuring the child?  Is the mother giving instructions to the child?

4.  Write a scene including dialogue illustrating what is going on.  Be sure to show the action through dialogue and movement.  Do not just tell the story in the form of narration.

5.  Plot Twist-Put one unpredictable element in this scene.

Mother and Child Writing Prompt

This picture was submitted by Gracey at Morguefile