Ten writing prompts that play with reader expectations

Since I don’t really have much to add in the way of writing advice that hasn’t already been said before, here’s some funky writing prompts instead:

  1. An eldritch abomination/horrifying cryptid is actually real and comes into the public limelight to terrify humanity again, only to be rather confused by having a ready-made fandom and memes about them. They eventually decide that stardom isn’t so bad and becomes a regular figure on talk shows, discussing their horror dimensions from which they originated.
  2. A deity falls in love with you and while their text messages to you are god-tier entertaining, you’re really not interested in a relationship with them.
  3. A mysterious entity takes over your country’s government and appears to be capable of controlling everything that happens with very little effort. However, they have a weakness for your award-winning homemade recipe and would do just about anything for a batch.
  4. History class at night school is rather boring until ghosts start giving their input during the lectures.
  5. Whenever anything is burned to ashes, it appears in another dimension. The original resident of this other dimension is starting to get rather annoyed by the clutter.
  6. Atlanteans asked the gods to hide them from the rest of the world because they were having a very bad case of Impostor Syndrome-induced anxiety and didn’t want to put up with other people’s pressures and expectations anymore.
  7. Demons don’t cook anything to eat and they think the human customs of doing so are essentially a magical religious practice.
  8. A knight has a mission to rescue a princess from the villain/monster, only to find that she has already escaped and the only clues as to where she went were left behind in a diary.
  9. A wizard commissions a magical cloak of invisibility, but a typo in their order leads them to receive a cloak of enhanced visibility instead.
  10. A young witch attempts the common taboo of making a love potion and manages to succeed, but the potion promotes platonic love and enhanced communication skills. The government sees it as a threat to the war effort.

(Crossposted from my other writing blog.)
Image credit: Pexels 
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Things that happen in large families

Or: Funky things that have really happened and that would be fun writing prompts or writing inspiration in the right, non-chronically-sleep-deprived-because-grad-school hands.

These are so underused in fiction even though they can be a treasure trove of humor and drama just waiting to happen. Admittedly, it would take more work to tweak these for a fantasy or science-fiction series, but it probably wouldn’t be impossible. Also, a lot of these can be applied to the Found Family/Family of Choice trope.

  • The youngest sibling and the oldest sibling wear styles from completely different decades (e.g. 80s and 90s) because the youngest kid’s entire wardrobe is hand-me-downs from the older ones. And yes, it looks as hilarious in family photos as you might think.
  • Birthdays and holidays spawning a lot of Dobby the House Elf moments
  • There is no such thing as a perfect family photo. Someone is always blinking or making a silly face or sneaking in a rude gesture. Always.
  • Grocery carts piled ridiculously high with the basics and yet inevitably one item on the list will always be forgotten and it just so happens to be essential for dinner
  • Cooking a meal involves both racks of the oven, three-quarters of the stove, and sometimes an electric griddle or crock pot on the side
  • Bunkbed Discourse™ x1000
  • Four+ people trying to get ready in a bathroom at the same time (the nicer ones will eventually give up and get ready in a bedroom that has a decent mirror but they’ll still maintain that the bathroom mirror is the best)
  • One sibling piled under two blankets with three pillows over their head in their fully-lit bedroom at 1:38 AM because one of their siblings procrastinated on their homework. Meanwhile, a third sibling reads a book and the fourth sibling sneaks back through the window from their latest nighttime adventure.
  • Similarly, siblings getting roped into homework projects and favors around the clock, especially if they involve videos, pranks, or both
  • One sibling bribing a pack of siblings with junk food or favors so that they’ll leave the sibling alone with their crush

And if you have more to add (even if you don’t have many siblings), by all means, please do so in the comments! This was pretty fun to think about, even if messily organized.


(A crosspost from my other books and writing blog)

Photo by Markus Spiske