1. Write about something you really dislike. Here is your chance to go for the jugular. Let your emotions flow into your writing.
2. Recount a somewhat serious anecdote – real or a fictional one – in the form of a joke. Use the rhythms and the voice you use when telling a joke, such as premise, setup and punch line.
3. You’re at lunch when your Smartphone buzzes with an e-mail from your boss: “Don’t forget, we have a meeting in 10 minutes.” Of course you did forget, so you rush out of the restaurant and attempt to make it before it starts. But a crazy chain of events stops you from getting back in time for the meeting.
4. You’ve just moved into a new house and are fixing it up. In the process of painting you find an odd crack in the wall. As you explore further, you find out it’s a secret passageway—and you have no idea where it leads. You decide to grab a flashlight and go exploring.
5. Invent a character that has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don’t fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story.
plant, exchange, wreath, river city, stripes