Writing Prompts from Quirk Authors

Posted by Quirk Books Staff

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Everyone has a story, but sometimes it's hard to get that story down on paper. If that sounds like you, don't worry—you're not alone! That's why we enlisted the help of some Quirk authors to give you writing prompts for National Write Down Your Story Day. Let the motivation begin!


Sam Tschida, author of Siri, Who Am I?

Prompt: "Write a kiss. Set it at the Olive Garden. Make it awkward or make it romantic, as long as the kissers end the scene in a different emotional state than where they started. Try to include bread sticks."

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Anna Carey, author of This is Not the Jess Show

Prompt: "Create a character who is very certain of the world around them. Think about their family of origin, their likes and dislikes, what they look like, how they speak, their secrets and regrets. Write a scene where your character interacts with a close friend, walks away, and is robbed by an armed assailant. In the scuffle, your character is wounded in the arm…but not. They pull back a layer of latex skin, revealing machinery underneath. They’re not human. They’re AI."

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Ashley Poston, author of GeekerellaThe Princess and the Fangirl, and Bookish and the Beast

Prompt: "You are sitting in a coffee shop writing your epic 70k-word fanfic. It's raining outside and it's cold, but at least your coffee is warm. Suddenly, a rift opens up on the screen on your laptop and you fall through! Congratulations, you are in your own fanfic, and to get home you have to finish the story. Uh-oh."

Preorder Bookish and the Beast:

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Clay McLeod Chapman, author of The Remaking

Prompt: "RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: Look the the newspaper. Go to the 'in brief' section (nation briefs, world briefs, metro briefs) and you'll find a cluster of short, paragraph-long news articles. Sometimes, they might even only be a sentence. These articles are so threadbare, they only have space to provide the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHEN…but not the WHY ("Why did this happen?") or the HOW ("How, HOW could this have happened!?!"). These bare-bone articles offer just enough information to provide a situation that we as writers can instill our own point of view upon. Your challenge: pick one of these newspaper articles, select a perspective from within the article (the subject of the article, a peripheral player like a cop or doctor or lawyer, or even an object or animal) and tell their side of the story. Allow your narrator an opportunity to explore the situation from their own point-of-view. My personal fave: Zephyrhills, Florida. 1999: "A 79-year-old woman who held onto a rabid fox for twelve hours until help arrived has died."  

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Andrew Shaffer, author of Hope Never Dies and Hope Rides Again

Prompt: "Write like nobody is watching over your shoulder. The next time you sit down to write, turn off your inner editor. Your inner editor is that voice in your head that steers you away from controversial topics, or too-personal stories. Your inner editor is afraid of what your mother/brother/labradoodle will think. Rough drafts are for your eyes only. You'll revise later, and maybe then you'll cut out material that you're worried about sharing with family, Twitter, etc. But at the drafting stage, let it all out. Literally. As a reminder that nobody can see your rough draft but you, write naked. Just cover that little camera on your laptop with tape first."

Buy Hope Never Dies:

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