• Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

    Ordinary people. Extraordinary romance.

Fill in the blanks.

The thing I want most is_________because__________, but I can’t because__________ .

That, my friends, is the goal, motivation and conflict you need for your major characters before you can start writing.

p.s. I’d also like to hear your stories and what you’re doing to meet your goal.

All the best,


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Do you use writing prompts when you get a big case of writer’s block or to spark your writing?  Here’s one from 2005, when the Grand Rapids Region Writers Group first started and lacked a speaker for their meeting.

The dead make good neighbors; I mean, they don’t trot over at all hours and beat upon one’s domicile door for a bit of sugar or whatnot; they don’t accost one after church and press ragged tickets upon one for some bally fete or another, nor bung off to Bath after dropping their beastly pets for me to watch; no, as a whole, your graveyard corpse is a quiet, peaceful sort of Johnnie.

(whew!  Talk about your run-on sentences)

Here’s what I wrote in the 15 minutes allotted:

I never minded living next door to the cemetery.  Except for the occasional police car parked in the drive, the officers taking a break from donuts and the high crime of our sleepy little town, hoping to catch a speeding car as they punched through the 30 m.p.h. limits coming out of town.  Halloween was even quiet, the citizens preferring old man Mooney’s yard to festoon with toilet paper or to upend small cars on Main Street.

I thought I had a good deal, living next to the quiet dead, who, as previously mentioned, make pretty good neighbors.

That is, until the drug drops started.

It seems the local riff-raff, the pillars of let’s-take-advantage-of-children society, decided the cemetery was the perfect place to conduct business.  Think about it.  The back of the cemetery was secluded, away from curious eyes, everything you’d want to conduct a drug deal.  And, if anything went wrong, they wouldn’t have to transport the body far.

This had gone for about a month, undetected by the local law, when the dead decided they’d had enough interruption of their eternal rest.


Do you use writing prompts?

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