Idea Factory

I'm an idea factory. Like many writers, I generate more ideas in a week than I could write in a lifetime, and I'm happy to share them with you. For example, my brain is obsessed with devising curious or compelling first lines and prompts. 

If you're feeling stuck, here are some ideas to undo your mental log jam. 

Writing Prompts

+ What's a lie you've told about yourself (to others or to yourself)? 

+ Step outside and write about one thing that's happening through the narrowest lens possible. A woman trying to hail a cab. Describe her technique, or the story behind the rather unusual shoes she's wearing. / The steam after a rain shower on a hot day. Personify it. If it were human, what would be its characteristics? Its personality? / That smell in the air--what is it? Where's it coming from? / What's the most distinct sound you can isolate? How does that sound feel in your body?

+ What's the worst job you could imagine having? Write about that person waking up on a Monday morning or going to bed on Friday night.

+ Can you be clever, insightful, hilarious in 131 characters? Tell a short story on Twitter an hashtag it #cnftweet to enter Creative Nonfiction's "Tiny Tweets" contest, which is ongoing. 


First Lines
Use one of the following first lines and see what story emerges...

+ It was the perfect job, though the fact that it was illegal probably should have bothered me.

+ His shirt smelled of cilantro, which meant he'd been lying to me all along.

+ She should have said goodbye when she'd meant to.

+ The things I missed most about Jack were his cat, his cologne, and his collection of Varga Girl postcards, in that order.

+ The sun rose for the first time in three weeks; of course it had been there all along, but like my father's supposed love for us, it remained hidden.

+ It wasn't every day you saw a woman dancing on her chair in the library.