PREVIEW: 101 Merciless Fiction Prompts

June 25, 2019

You might've noticed I've been tweeting about my upcoming project a fair bit lately. I'm pleased to share a sample of the book right here!


101MFP is a tongue-in-cheek guide to writing and productivity, crammed with tips, techniques and some of the most challenging writing prompts imaginable. I'll be motivating you the only way I know how - with humour. It's designed for both experienced and new writers, and is intended to be both practical and an enjoyable read as well. 


Take a look at the sample below and let me know what you think!




Place and Setting


Every story takes place in a location or locations, but you’d be mistaken for assuming that these backdrops are nothing more than cardboard scenery. The best stories work their environs into the action, tailoring dialects, imagery and key plot developments according to setting. It’s when all of these elements complement one another that a story starts to feel real. In short, every decision you make has to be pertinent to the overall effect you are trying to conjure with your writing. If you decide to set your holiday romance in Spain because you like paella but forget to include any Spanish-speaking characters, then I suggest you stop writing and cook yourself some dinner first. Like grocery shopping, you should never write on an empty stomach. Now, when you’re ready, let’s think about setting…


41. You’ve been infected with a rare and deadly poison. The only cure is to corral every single passenger on a train carriage into singing the same song simultaneously. You absolutely must succeed. Which song do you choose, and how do you convince your fellow passengers to comply?


42. Write a piece about two friends on a silent spa retreat. There is a strict no speaking policy to foster peacefulness and meditation. As the day progresses, the treatments – massages, saunas, hot rocks, leeches, acupuncture – get more dangerous, uncomfortable and unbelievable. Your characters start to doubt they’ll ever get out alive, and must silently plan their escape.


43. Forty years in the future, two elderly retirement home residents get into an argument over a stolen antique GameBoy. To determine the real owner of the Gameboy, the head nurse instigates a Tetris tournament. Another resident plays the theme tune on the piano over and over. And over.


44. Design an alternate society in which residents are sorted into two districts: thinkers and doers. Your protagonist is a thinker, but an excess of thinking has led them to realise they’d much rather be a mindless, obedient doer. Now they just need an excuse to cross the border.


45. Recall the calmest, most serene setting you’ve ever been on holiday. Now imagine it as ground zero for the zombie apocalypse. Much more exciting, isn’t it?




I'm planning to wrap up this project within a week or two so keep an eye on the blog, and my Facebook and Twitter pages, as I hope to put this up for pre-order in a matter of days. For now, here's a glimpse of the working cover art (complete with watermark!) Let me know what you think in the comments. 



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