As far as prompts for stories go, there are thousands of them out there. Anything from one-word prompts to things that could themselves be considered a flash fiction story. And I have written... many. Many short stories.
But it always interested me that if you gave twelve people the same prompt, you'd get back twelve completely different stories. I mean, This and This could technically be explained as two people told "set a Shakespeare play in space".
So, I'd like to try something. Give me your plot or premise, and I'll try to turn it into a short story. Less than 2k words. I'll shove them together into an anthology. The more concise you can make what you give me, the better, but I'll try anything.
I'm up for a challenge XD
Oftentimes several prompts are given, like a genre, an object and a quote, or a series of photos or drawings that must be incorporated into the story. In the halcyon days of Wattpad, events called Smackdowns were commonplace in all genres, from SciFi to Historical Romance. In a Smackdown, a group of eight to twenty writers all join a contest together, where a team of judges eliminate them through a series of Rounds -- each round more difficult than the last -- until one writer stands victorious.
They are so much fun. It's a great way to build comraderie and improve your skills, while gaining readers and friends. Of those contests, I won two -- a Smackdown that was held in the Action genre, and a Best Story Overall Grand Prize in a contest that was hosted in India.
So, if I may suggest, perhaps you'd allow others to join in the fun, and let them post their stories to the prompts here as well. I guarantee it will be a good time. To get you started in the right direction, here is a common set of prompts given in the first round of a Smackdown. Write a story in any genre that uses these three prompts -- robots that have gone hayqire, an electric frying pan, and this quote from the movie Zombieland:
"Sno-balls? Sno-balls!? Sno-balls!?! Where are the f*cking Twinkies?"
Good luck, and may the gods be with you. ❤😸❤
ArDeeBurger Wrote: perhaps you'd allow others to join in the funBy all means I'm not saying "my idea, do not steal" lol if someone else wants to do it go right ahead!
ArDeeBurger Wrote: let them post their stories to the promptsThat's the thing, I'm not exactly looking for a prompt. I have a whole spreadsheet of prompts. I'm looking for a straight-up plot. I'm looking for an idea someone is actively working on, a story that is in the process being written, just to see how I would write it differently.
So "robots that have gone haywire" is close to what I'm looking for, while you'd have to tell me what the frying pan has to do with anything, and the quote (being a specific piece of dialogue) is completely useless. As a prompt, sure, it's good, but it's not what I'm after.
A story about being present and appreciative of every day in your life. The young man is a recent husband and father. He compares himself to others his age and what they have, thinking himself lesser. Worse yet, he's fine with sacrificing time with his family for money, despite being financially stable. How much is too much and what is it worth? I guess this could also be seen as an allegory for the long hours some parents work and how it comes at the cost of not being there for their family, missing some of the moments that make life special.
Fuchsia Wrote: A well-meaning, yet misguided young man sells a day of his life to the devil in exchange for wealth. The devil rips the mans soul out of his body, taking him on a hallucinogenic ride through the six levels of hell, an insane world of depravity and mistakes, where nothing quite makes sense.Epic! Thanks! It sounds like such a fun story, why haven't you posted it yet? XD
Descent: A pair of twins running away from someone or something.
On a fun note, I was planning a dribble prompt thread when the month turns, so ya.
Mad Wrote:Fuchsia Wrote: A well-meaning, yet misguided young man sells a day of his life to the devil in exchange for wealth. The devil rips the mans soul out of his body, taking him on a hallucinogenic ride through the six levels of hell, an insane world of depravity and mistakes, where nothing quite makes sense.Epic! Thanks! It sounds like such a fun story, why haven't you posted it yet? XD
Alas, I suffer from a common illness known by medical professionals as 'stupid procrastinator'.
The sun flickers and the world goes dark for a brief moment. Ever since 'The Flicker', certain people gained an ability; some could breathe fire, some could fly, etc. They call it 'Blink'. Power corrupts and most people with superior Blinks wreaks havoc.
The officials who would keep society together united and built a place called 'Sector'. They create robots in order to go against the Blink users.
War happened between them and 'Post-Flicker' was an apocalyptic world.
Individuals would group with others, creating 'factions' to defend themselves from other factions.
Robots hunts Blinkers regardless whether they're good or bad.
Hope you have fun with this!
The current story I'm working on admittedly has a pretty generic isekai plot premise, so I don't know how interesting it would be as a writing prompt lol
The Saintess and the Villainess: An ordinary office worker dies suddenly and finds herself reborn as the heroine of the novel she was reading just before her death, but she has no interest in following the plot of the original story. All she wants to do is save the life of her favorite character, the villainess.
But I'm also working on a new novel (which will be Patreon exclusive when I start posting it) that has potentially a more interesting premise to play with!
The Warmonger Duchess and Her Female Husband: A young noblewoman is killed at the hands of a conquering Duchess and curses the Goddess of War with her dying breath. The Goddess of War, offended, makes a bet with her: The Goddess will rewind time to several months before the young woman's death, and if the young woman can somehow help the Duchess to conquer the Empire without ever once killing anyone, they'll both get to live. If not, the Goddess of War will show up to claim the souls of both the Duchess and the young woman.
That's my best attempt at summarizing the premise, hopefully it makes sense.
Admittedly it might be difficult to write either of these as short stories, but you're welcome to play around with the ideas however you want.
Two brothers working as farm hands in a fantastical world are looking for a rumored "Man in Black," riding his pure black steed across the misty moors. They find him, but in doing so reveal that nothing in the story was as it seemed.