Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt – I Dare You

This writing prompt idea comes from a chat group during Nanowrimo where we would challenge each other to include some unexpected object or phrase in our story. It was surprising and fun to see how different people could use the same dare in wildly different ways, inspiring new directions in our plot that we might never have imagined before. One time, a dare for me to use a marshmallow led to a poisonous sea creature used in sacred vision quest rituals. What can I say? From an improbable prompt, I learned a whole new dimension to one character’s society.  And it was fun.

Writing Prompt: I dare you to use any of the following in one of your works in progress:



stone tower














And, of course, if you can use a marshmallow or two . . .


Have you ever had a prompt that’s taken your story in unexpected directions?

Time to Go by Amy Burton
Green Tree Frog by John Wheeler
Stone Tower by Armin Hanisch
Will Walk On My Hands by Mateusz Stachowski
Odd Marshmallow by Kym McLeod

1 thought on “Writing Prompt – I Dare You”

  1. Actually, Babette, writing prompts have not only inspired my writing, but have garnered 15 writing awards and 13 published pieces—not necessarily all awards winners got published nor have all published pieces won awards, but a couple managed to do both.

    As a teacher of commercial writing, primarily fiction, I have always encouraged my students to enter contests and submit their writing exercises when they fit the guidelines. Many students have also won awards and had work published from writing prompts in major publications.

    In fact, regarding writing prompts, an editor once questioned the title of submissions from a critique partner and myself to his magazine. Mine had popped up on the computer from the previous issue and she was submitting for the current issue. We both had to explain that we attended the same workshop and the opening line of the prompt had given us the title.

    So my advice to any new writer is: Never, ever toss a writing exercise from a prompt…you never know…

    Another piece of advice, if you are doing a timed prompt when the person giving the prompt say, “almost time,” or “five more minutes,”…immediately write your ending. You can always go back and add to the middle, but if you loose the ending while waiting to go back later, you will probably never finish the piece.

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