Writing Prompt: 36 Minute Short Story

I’m back with another writing prompt idea for anyone stuck, anyone with writer’s block, or anyone just looking for a new idea! This is something I heard about from the folks in my writing group. We randomly pulled cards from a few different decks (one deck was “setting”, another “character”) then from our four cards, wrote a short story in 36 minutes.

OR YOU CAN GO TO THE NEW SCENE GENERATOR, WOOHOO!

Now, I’m not 100% sure how to do this random thing, so here’s what we’re going to do for the blog setup.

For your CHARACTER ADJECTIVE, choose a number from 1 to 5.
For your CHARACTER NOUN, choose a number from 6 to 10.
For your SETTING, choose a number from 11 to 15.
For your PROP, choose a number from 16 to 20.
For your ACTION, choose a number from 21 to 25.

I know it’s kind of weird, but bear with me! And choose the numbers before you go on and see the lists.

CHARACTER ADJECTIVE:
1. Grumpy
2. Embarrassed
3. Rich
4. Clever
5. Malicious

CHARACTER NOUN:
6. Uncle
7. President of the United States
8. Cowboy
9. 10-year-old
10. Police Officer

SETTING:
11. Garage Sale
12. DMV
13. Waterfall
14. Campsite
15. Swimming Pool

PROP:
16. Barbie Doll
17. Jellyfish
18. Smoke
19. Microphone
20. Wheel

ACTION:
21. Kissing
22. Saving money
23. Firing someone
24. Brainstorming
25. Entertaining friends

So, with your words, write a short story in 36 minutes incorporating each thing you chose!

Tips for success:

1. Think about what to write beforehand.
2. Set a timer.
3. Just write, don’t worry about editing until after the time’s up!

This is a great exercise to get a self-contained short story in a short amount of time. Let me know how it goes!

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