Tag: writing prompt


Posted on by Steven Savage

Let’s talk the Writing Prompt Generator!

Based on the feedback I’ve been getting I’ve been adding new stuff – in this case disasters and antagonists, as well as tweaking things here and there.  It’s definitely spiced things up, so go check it out!

This was definitely one of the less-fun parts as I had to work out various setting-specific things first.  Putting the various words and phrases together is fun, but those moments of sitting down and listing things can be a pain (how many popular disasters are there in science fiction for instance?).  Fortunately the internet helped, and the research was pretty educational – for instance seeing trends in SF disasters – really much apocalyptic fiction really is SF.

Now when it comes together it produces some pretty frothy stuff.  I may need to take time to go through and just add more tweaks, variants, and weirdness

By my estimates I need a certain level of “base” opening lines to make this work – and I’m a bit under halfway there.  So my goal is to work on this thing through August.  It’s extremely educational.

I admit I think this isn’t going to be perfect – not in that it’ll be incoherent, but it’s hard to capture the “lightning in the bottle” opening lines, so I may be making it a tad tame.  There is a very, very fine line to walk here, and I’m learning that there’s a sweet spot in language that both explains and inspires – but you have to hit it.  Err on the side of explaining (“wham here it is”) and it’s dull and uninspiring.  Err too far on the side of looking for the combination that inspires and you risk falling into incoherent weirdness.

But again, always educational.

I also think this is the kind of generator more generator-makers should try.  It’s highly educational

That’s it for this update.  Do have some things brewing for future generators and some writing, always working on Way With Worlds (I plan to finish up my two-parter on skills and move on to the next subject), but let me leave you with a few opening lines . . .

  • Political collapse – it was definitely Saturday. – A world so organized political disasters happen only on one day.
  • A war is just like getting old. – You can’t reverse it and you’re filled with regrets.
  • We called him John, and figured he was a comedian. – Imagine a guy who’s hilariously funny, but wants people to stop focusing on that.
  • I’d never dealt with a climate change before. – Sounds like someone is aware of an issue.
  • I pretended to be a librarian, that was the problem. – You CANNOT pretend to be a librarian, its a special skillset. Sounds like an odd comedy.
  • I am a secretary. – Sounds simple, but I feel this is a more menacing opening.
  • On Wednesday I become a chemist, which was really cool. – Childlike wonder at handling dangerous chemicals could go wrong.
  • She was my worst enemy and the darkness in my life. – Well your relation is pretty clear – the question is why haven’t you done anything . . .
  • Michael knew that knowledge requires injustice. – Oooh, a story on how knowing the truth doesn’t mean fairness?
  • It was Monday, the day of giggling, everyone knew that. – This just sounds creepy, like every Monday everyone hears giggling
  • One magical experiment gone haywire can change your life, four however . . . – A series of magical disasters make things too normal.
  • I never figured a mass murder would be like this. – Sounds very “Breaking Bad” ish.
  • The rogue robots were behind the starship crash. – Well, that’s simple.  But why?  Were they willing to sacrifice themselves.
  • That scientist was the source of all my pain. – This can’t end well.
  • I pretended to be an explorer, which everyone expected. – Getting to live your childhood dream doesn’t mean you’re good at it.
  • I have a tale about hope, birth, and being a dungeon delver. – If you spend your time exploring dungeons, what if you miss your child’s birth?  What’s it like when dad goes away so often?
  • On Saturday I become a scientist, and that’s where things get complicated. – I’d like to know how, maybe you know something people don’t.
  • I never wanted to be a demon. – This sounds like a rather dark supernatural romance.
  • It was Thursday, the day of disbelief and drug addiction. – If you have nothing to believe in, drugs are tempting.
  • Because of her, the wind is weeping. – One person who fails you makes the whole world seem sad.

Let me know what ideas you get . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at http://www.musehack.com/, publishes books on career and culture at http://www.informotron.com/, and does a site of creative tools at http://www.seventhsanctum.com/. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/.




Posted on by Steven Savage

Well I started on the Writing Prompt Generator.  This is definitely going to take time and it’s definitely going to have to go through a lot of user feedback.  But I’ve got some results already:

  • It was thursday, the day of faith, but nobody knew that.
  • Hate requires war.
  • It was monday, the day of hate.

– Steven Savage

Seventh Sanctum™, the page of random generators.

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