Prompt for a Romantic Story

Here’s my last prompt for a romantic story. Who are the man and woman in the photo? Where are they? Are they on a first date? Or their last? Here’s my inspiration:

The coffee was as delicious as Matt said. The pastries were too. Taking a sip from my mug, I watched Matt’s handsome face as he gazed out the window.

For someone who had insisted that we had to meet for coffee, Matt had been oddly inattentive. Or more like he had bursts of attention–complimenting me about my sweater, joking about the fruit preserve clinging to his chin–and then long sessions of staring out the window.

I reached for his hand. What was going on?

For more prompts for romantic stories, click here.

What’s your inspiration from this prompt for a romantic story?

What’s the Friendship?

I’m taking a somewhat different approach for this week’s prompt and this month’s theme of love and romance. Many of fiction’s best friendships are between non-human characters. Charlotte and Wilbur, Winnie the Pooh and Piglet, Frog and Toad are just a few I could name. So what’s the friendship and love between these two stuffed animals?

The smaller bear looks more worn. Maybe he’s the old favorite toy of a child, and the bigger one is the new favorite. But that kind of plot should lead to jealousy, not hugs. How about the worn bear has heard that he’s going to be “repaired” and is afraid of what that means?

For more prompts about friendship, click here.

What’s the friendship you imagine for these characters?

Romantic Story Prompt

Happy Valentine’s Day! Perfect day for a romantic story prompt. As a history major, this photo intrigued me. Old pictures can speak to hidden histories. Here’s my inspiration:

Blowing my bangs out of my eyes, I slumped back against Great-Grandma’s ancient couch. “Let’s split the boxes between us, get them out of the house, and then we can sort through them at a sane pace.”

My sister Em didn’t even glance at me as she pulled glassware from the old hutch. “It won’t take us that long. And an hour ago, you said we should just leave everything and let the new owner clean it out.”

“I just want to be done with cleaning out the house.” I rubbed my grubby hands on my jeans. “We’ve already taken what Grandma wanted us to have.”

Em tugged on a drawer of the hutch that seemed stuck. With a jerk, she freed it and something fell from the bottom of the drawer. “So that was what was jamming it.”

I crossed to the dining room, dodging boxes, and picked up a piece of folded paper. Three black-and-white photos slid out and drifted to the floor. I gathered them, cleared a spot on the dining room table, and laid them out. One was a picture of Grandma. At least, I though it was. She had only two photos of herself when she was a teenager. It might have been one of her sisters. The second was a portrait of a young man I didn’t recognize. The third showed the young woman and man walking together, clearly as a couple.

Em joined me as I opened the note. Foreign words taunted us.

“Is it Polish?” Em asked.

I shrugged. Grandma had taught us a few Polish words but I’d never read any. “One thing’s certain. If this girl is grandma, she had a boyfriend before Grandpa. And she never said a word about him.”

For more romantic prompts, click here.

What story does the photo inspire for you?

Opening Scene Prompt

Here is my last opening scene prompt to wrap up January’s theme of beginnings. The instructions for it are the same as last week’s prompt. Write down your first impressions of this photo for characters, setting, and plot. Then use those impressions to write an opening scene for a story.

Characters 

  • Workers on their way home
  • People bundled against the cold
  • Everyone looks alike

Setting

  • Winter
  • Cold
  • Dismal
  • The world is gray

Plot

  • A worker is depressed.
  • A worker is frustrated with the every day dullness of routine.
  • A worker wants to break free.

Here’s my opening:

If I don’t make a change soon …

I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, my left boot sliding on a patch of ice hidden under the charcoal-streaked snow.

People, workers leaving their jobs like me, bundled to their eyes against the freezing weather, trudged past, heads bent. Were they watching for slick spots or could think of no reason to lift their gaze?

Fat flakes drifted from a putty-colored sky. Even if enough snow fell to cover all the dirt, it wouldn’t change the fact that underneath, the snow was stained, spoiled.

I turned my face to the sky, the flakes brushing against my skin on their way to oblivion. That’s where I felt I was heading.

For more prompts to start a story, click here.

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