Story Bites Writing Prompts

Story Bite #16: It’s All About Perspective

Perspective—the voice that tells a story—can entirely change a story’s meaning, purpose, and feel. Here’s an example: When I was four years old, I was invited to the birthday party of my older brother’s best friend, Aaron. There was a chocolate cake in the kitchen while activities went on outside. I grew bored with the… Read more »

Story Bite #15: Writing Action (Part 2)

In our last Story Bite, we wrote an action scene. We focused exclusively on the path and the obstacles facing our character, but mostly the journey itself. Those scenes are fun to write. For many authors, they just flow onto the page: We’re narrating what’s going on and that’s often not too hard to write… Read more »

Story Bite #14: Writing Action (Part 1)

Writing action scenes can be a lot of fun. They’re energetic and your character is truly doing something. They can move along the story, end or begin a page with power, and hook your reader. For a lot of people, they’re easy to write—because it’s just movement. And that’s a great place to start. For… Read more »

Story Bite #11: This Builds Character!

How many times have you been forced to do something that wasn’t a lot of fun and were told, “It’s good you did that! It builds character!” I think this is pretty common, whether it’s going for a hike in the pouring rain, going camping when the ground is frozen, having to speak in front… Read more »

Story Bite #10: On Finding Your Idea

At a school talk I gave last month, I asked students to tell me their thorniest writing problems. What made writing hard for them? Was there anything I could do to help? One student told me that she loved writing but always had trouble starting: She struggled to find what to write about. She had… Read more »

Story Bite #9: On Character-Driven Beginnings

Happy New Year! For this story bite at the start of the year, we’re going to talk about one of the most important—and the most challenging—aspects of writing creative fiction or nonfiction: the beginning. Here’s a pic to start us off: my cat Flora, who is beginning (LOL) to fall asleep. Beginnings need to hook… Read more »

Story Bite #8: On Building Stakes

It’s fairly easy when you start a story or a novel to come up with a basic character and a goal. The next part of building a story—the conflict—is a little bit harder, but not bad. And then comes the hardest part: the stakes. This is what’s missing when a lot of people try to… Read more »