Saturday, July 18, 2009

Creative Writing Spark

To go along with the last entry, I've decided to periodically give you premises of my own to help you generate story ideas. On that note, the first premise is:

While house sitting for friends, you discover something unexpected on their property.

The first sentence could go something like:

"I couldn't believe my eyes..."

Feel free to post a comment letting me know what you think of this new feature, and telling me how it helped (or didn't help) your writing!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On the Premises

Some time ago, I wrote about using starter sentences to spark writing ideas. I recently ran across On the Premises, an online magazine devoted to a particular writing contest.

How does it work? Several times a year, On the Premises opens a contest to stories based on a story premise…supplied, of course, by their magazine. The premise for the current contest is:


One or more characters have a plan. They think it's a good plan. Are they right? That's up to you, but whether the plan is brilliant, stupid, or anywhere in-between, something goes terribly wrong when the characters try to execute it.

Even if you don’t enter the contest, imagine the possibilities for using that premise to spark your own writing. Your story could be about a bank robbery, a wedding proposal, a surprise party or a battle. Think of anything that requires a plan, and write about it. Of course, I do urge you to enter the contest if you write a story based on their premise…the deadline isn’t until September 30, and it offers a cash prize, a chance to be published and the chance at a critique if they reject your story. (Yes, they actually critique some rejected stories, a valuable service few magazines offer these days.)

If you are interested in their contest, by the way, here’s some more info.

Write a creative, compelling, well-crafted story between 1,000 and 5,000 words long that clearly uses the premise.

Deadline: September 30, 2009, 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

Prizes: 1st - $140, 2nd - $100, 3rd - $70,

Honorable Mention - $25.

All payments in US dollars.

Between zero and three honorable mentions will be published.

No that you have another story idea, go forth and write!