A Hot Fresh Ten-Pack Of Terribleminds Writing Prompts

Writing prompts crack me up. You may use them, and they may work very well for you — horses for courses, no harm, no foul, whatever gets your writing juices a-flowing. (Me, I use opium and electroshock therapy.) But for me? Writing prompts just make me snort and giggle. And sometimes pee my pants. (That might be coincidental, though. True story, I’m peeing my pants right now.)

Hell, writing prompts made me roll my eyes when I was in high school.

For the most part, I’d say that most writers don’t need writing prompts because that’s not really their issue — writers are under siege by ideas and prompts all damn day. It’s like a goddamn cloud of flies: you can swipe at it, you can scream, but it doesn’t make the flies go away. Why add more flies to the swarm?

If you’re not familiar with the practice of writing prompts, they usually take the form of a question or statement meant to provoke that most-dreaded of term, “creative writing.” You know:

Imagine that you were a letter in a bottle tossed out to sea. What would it say?

(“Help, I’m trapped in this fucking bottle?”) Or:

Write in the voice of a broken coffee mug!

As if all the bestselling novels are written from the perspectives of ceramic stoneware.

Anyway, I thought — hey, I should totally write a handful of these. For gits and shiggles.

So, here you go. A sexy, sassy ten-pack of terribleminds writing prompts.

1.) Write in the voice of a venereal disease traveling through the body of a promiscuous unicorn. What would you say to your unicorn host?

2.) Use this plot: a mysterious plumber arrives in town and eats everybody’s food, then builds a pyramid to his alien overlords, and also, he falls in love with “Sprinkles,” the local calico cat.

3.) Use these five words in a story: “Marsupial,” “Binoculars,” “Viagra,” “Acorn,” and “Cyborg.”

4.) Tell us about a day in the life of a superhero whose code name is, “The Solipsistic Mystic.” Don’t forget to talk about your arch-nemesis, “The Penetrator.”

5.) Why would a serial killer buy a pony? Answer that question in a 500-word piece! Bonus: what if the serial killer is also a baby? And the pony is actually an M1 Abrams tank?

6.) Punch yourself in the balls and/or vagina. Now write about what you’re feeling.

7.) Tell us the story of why an astronaut would be afraid of his own nipples. Be descriptive!

8.) Write for ten minutes, starting your page with the sentence: “This is why I had to shove a hand grenade up Jimmy Scungilli’s asshole.”

9.) In 200 words, describe the torrid love affair between a tricuspid valve and a salt shaker named “Steve.”

10.) Write a story based off this beautiful and profoundly poetic Insane Clown Posse lyric: “Before I threw you this dick, I throw you some soap /Cause you been in the barn all day /Milking cows and fucking with hay.” Juggalos 4-Eva!

11 comments

  • Wait a minute . . . am I a git or a shiggle?

    1. “Burn, baby, burn!”

    6. Alas, the logistics have defeated me . . . so I’m feeling grateful that I’m an internal-American instead of an external-American.

  • I’ve never written anything about prompts because I know it would make me look like a snob. But my feeling has always been that if you need prompts for inspiration, you should be looking for something else to do, because you’re not going to make it as a writer.

  • Prompts are the devil. And not the cool, punch babies and make heavy metal devil. The quiet old geezer that stinks of Ben-Gay and death devil. I think there’s a special circle of hell for people that make those “use this word and this word monkey apple carburetor” prompts.

  • I have friends who do prompts as a challenge, like improv on the page. I prefer to incorporate prompts into my stories, but not the kind you quoted. POV of a broken mug? No thanks. But “your character has an obsession with spoons, and acquires them, legitimately or not, wherever he goes. He has a favorite he talks to. Bonus points if the favorite disappears in a mysterious manner.”

    That one was fun.

  • Hmm.. number 8 has some promise.
    ” ‘Cause he was constipated…”
    But seriously.. I noticed a lot of the NaNoWriMo tweets doing this sort of thing. “Write for 10 minutes and have your MC transform into a demon turkey..”

    All I can think is, “but, my MC would never do that.. so why write it.?”

  • I had a promiscuous unicorn once, fucking thing was horny all the time. But seriously keep up the great posts they are the punch in the balls I need for inspiration.

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