If you are in-between writing projects, or just fancy trying out a new writing format, writing a short read is an intriguing prospect. Since March 2014, Amazon even categorizes these by the amount of time reading will take – from 15 to 90 minutes. Like Jodi Picoult, you could use the format to introduce a character from a work in progress, or like Veronica Roth, you could re-write a scene from your novel from a different character’s perspective.
Here are some prompts to get you going:
1) Introduce a character, theme or location from a work-in-progress.
2) Write a scene from your novel from a different character’s perspective.
3) Tell the story of a minor character in your novel.
4) Test out a new idea or something you’ve always wanted to write about.
5) Take inspiration from your first workplace.
6) Take inspiration from a time you have suffered.
7) Take inspiration from a time you have triumphed.
8) Think of your school days – and someone you met who stood out. Someone who treated at the extremes of kindness or unkindness.
9) What would you like to read?
10) Take inspiration from a time you were somewhere you weren’t supposed to be.
11) Write about the one that got away, or the romance that never was.
12) Take inspiration from an adolescent hobby or obsession.
13) Take inspiration from a time you lost out.
14) Take inspiration from an unexpected or unwanted journey.
15) Write about an unexpected or unwanted gift.
16) Take inspiration from a time you have been misunderstood.
17) Take inspiration from a time you felt in synch with society.
18) Take inspiration from a time you felt out of joint with society.
19) Write about an inheritance.
20) Take inspiration from a time you made an unpopular decision or a decision that changed things.
21) Think of a time you met someone you’d like to write about. Do it.
22) Take inspiration from a time you felt threatened.
23) Write about an imagined ancestor.
For more writing prompts, a self-editing checklist and examples from best-selling novels, order your copy of ’52 Dates for Writers’.