Wednesday writing prompts
Forty years ago yesterday, on 12 January 1981, Dynasty aired for the first time. This had me looking for pictures I could use from the show, but of course, they’re all copyright protected.
What the search did bring up was lots of Chinese images. And that reminded me that in almost a month to the day’s time, on 12 February, it will be the Chinese new year.
There is still time to write something about the Chinese new year to markets with a short lead time, if you’re quick, although they may already be filled. But it is an evergreen, so it happens every year. Plan ahead and write something based on next year instead.
It’s a bit late to write something about the original Dynasty, but the new one aired on 12 October 2017. That means on 12 October 2022 (i.e. next year), if it’s still going, it will be celebrating 5 years, and if it isn’t, it will be a 5-year anniversary. Plenty of time to start researching it this year and planning something for next year.
So here are 10 writing prompts for you based on each of these topics:
- Taking the word “dynasty”, write a short story.
- What does “dynasty” conjure up for you? Write an article about this. If it fits an existing market, all the better.
- Write an article using “dynasty” as the theme for any magazine you read a lot (and know well) that takes articles.
- Taking the original series, can you remember any of the storylines? Or look at the episodes list on IMDb. Write a story of your own using one of these storylines.
- The series was based in Denver. Write a short story based in Denver.
- Write a travel article on Denver.
- Write about “5 great things to do in Denver”.
- Write about “7 great things to do in Colorado”.
- Which are your favourite soap operas? Are any still going? Write a letter to the letter’s page of a TV magazine about a current soap, or tell them why you miss one of the old soaps.
- Should old favourites be left where they were, in the past? Or are reboots a good idea? Write this up as a discussion article, perhaps interviewing fans.
Chinese new year
- What year were you born? (See the Chinese calendar here.) Write a short story based on this animal.
- Write about some of the history surrounding the Chinese new year.
- Is there somewhere in China that you’d love to go? Or do you already know it well? Research it, plan it, query it, and try to get a commission before you go, but concentrate on just one aspect.
- One of the sponsored walks is for the Great Wall of China. Write a short story based on a fictional sponsored walk, which charity it’s for, in whose memory the walk is, etc.
- Research some of the charities that run these sponsored walks. Write a spotlight on each of them, contacting officials at the charities for interviews. Either choose just one, or do a roundup for people interested in joining one, including how much it will cost them before they even go.
- Write a short story based on celebrations for Chinese new year.
- This new year marks the year of the ox. Write a short story or an article with the ox or oxen at its core.
- If you are not Chinese, do you know anyone who is? What do they do for Chinese new year? Can you speak to 3 or 5 of them and write up their experiences?
- Write about “10 of the best …” Chinese takeaways in your area; Chinese restaurants in your area; Chinese supermarkets in your area; Chinese medical practitioners/doctors in your area. Or, if there aren’t 10, try the wider area, such as your county or even your country. Or maybe write about 5 of the best.
- Write about “A day out in Chinatown”. Most cities have a Chinatown or a Chinese quarter. Some have historically had them but may not anymore, or they’ve been swallowed up. If it’s an article, remember to interview people who live there or visit. If it’s a story, it can be a romance or a mystery or a thriller or a historical. And if it’s big enough, it could be a novel …
And finally …
Do let me know if you choose any of these and, if you do, what you did with it and how you get on.