from “Thirteen Writing Prompts” by Dan Wiencek, via McSweeney’s Internet Tendency:
Write a scene showing a man and a woman arguing over the man’s friendship with a former girlfriend. Do not mention the girlfriend, the man, the woman, or the argument.
Write a short scene set at a lake, with trees and shit. Throw some birds in there, too.
Choose your favorite historical figure and imagine if he/she had been led to greatness by the promptings of an invisible imp living behind his or her right ear. Write a story from the point of view of this creature. Where did it come from? What are its goals? Use research to make your story as accurate as possible.
Write a story that ends with the following sentence: Debra brushed the sand from her blouse, took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse, and stepped into the hot-air balloon.
A wasp called the tarantula hawk reproduces by paralyzing tarantulas and laying its eggs into their bodies. When the larvae hatch, they devour the still living spider from the inside out. Isn’t that fucked up? Write a short story about how fucked up that is.
Read the rest here.