Red Writing Hood

Red Writing Hood is our writing meme. It can be fiction or non-fiction and word limit is 600.

The prompt is on our site Tuesday and the link-up is Friday.

The following is a list of our past prompts:

1. Write a short fiction piece starting with these two words: "Your mother."

2. Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.

Write them down so you remember.

The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation.

Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.

All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.


1. A new mother

2. An actress

3. A recent high school graduate

4. A waitress

5. An alien

6. A homeless man

7. An elderly woman

8. A freshman in high school

9. A college student

10. A musician


1. The woods

2. A wedding reception

3. A party

4. A restaurant

5. A mall

6. A park

7. A beach

8. A lake

9. A baseball game

10. A seminar


1. Winter

2. During a thunderstorm

3. The morning after prom

4. Spring

5. December

6. Midnight or around midnight

7. Summer

8. In the middle of a fire

9. In the middle of a snowstorm

10. The afternoon


1. A death

2. Secret needs to be told

3. Someone has or will hurt someone

4. A crime has occured or is about to

5. Someone has lost/found something

6. Someone is falling in love

7. Reminiscing on how things change

8. There has been a family emergency

9. Something embarrassing happened

10. Someone has just gone to the doctor.

3. Write a short piece of fiction about seeing an ex in the grocery store from the first person point-of-view. Instead of writing from the female perspective, we want you to write from the male perspective.

4. Please write a narrative poem that focuses on the workings of a family, whether it be your own or one that you've created from scratch.

5. Craft a piece of short fiction featuring the dialogue between two people arguing. Focus more on the spoken language and less on setting details. Think "Hills Like White Elephants" by Hemingway.

6. Write a first-person piece about either eating your favorite food or taking a shower - without using a personal pronoun.

7. Write a short story based on this prompt:

"An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver's door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out."

8. I thought we'd write a short piece of prose (or a poem if you so choose) from the perspective of a broken inanimate object. It doesn't necessarily have to be a toaster but it should most definitely be inanimate!

9. Epistolary novels work as a concept because they are a series of documents (often letters) written to reveal a story. Let's try and give this a go, shall we? For this week write a serious letter to your younger self.

10. Write a morality tale based on forgiveness but written with the fantasy genre in mind - create a whole new world comprised of supernatural phenomenon.

11. Follow this template to write about "Where You're From."

12. Below you will find two links to photos. Your assignment? Chose one. If you're a fiction writer, write a piece inspired by the photo. If you're non-fiction, write a piece on a childhood memory the photo inspires in you.

Remember, your post doesn't have to be a literal translation of the photo.

Here are your choices

13. "Tell me about a meal you loved. Where were you when you ate it? What was the weather like out the window? Who were you with? How old were you? ... Did you leave anything on the plate? Were there flowers on the table? Paper napkins? Did you have seconds? Are you stumped? Begin with: I don't remember anything about that meal except..."

14. "Think of a person you don't like, and describe what you might say if you had to share an elevator ride together. Then describe what happens when the elevator breaks down. For six hours."

15. a) Two choices: Describe your 80th birthday party.
b) If you could spend the afternoon with anyone who is no longer alive, who would it be and what would you do? (And yes, we mean someone who has died that you would want to spend a day with, not that you would spend the day with an actual dead person!)

Pick whichever you like. Combine them, if you want. You can also do it as fiction or non-fiction.

16. Your assignment is to write a character sketch of a villain.

Good stories have a villain or a nemesis. Which isn't to say there's an evil witch or bogeyman in every tale (like I tell my kids, a stranger isn't always a scary person, it's just someone you don't know). But you do need a character or characters who create friction, who go against the grain of good.

Sometimes these characters are truly bad, bad people (or machines or aliens. You get the picture.) but sometimes? They can be regular people; anyone or anywhere. Look around you. Maybe it's your kid's crossing guard who snarls at you every morning. Or the overbearing PTA or soccer mom. Maybe it's a teacher you had in school or a boss or a frenemy or a barrista.

Take their unpleasant traits and exaggerate. Make them as nasty as you wanna be. Tell us what she/he/it looks like. What are her/his/its motivations? No one is all good or all bad, which makes a villain complex and interesting. Tell us everything you need to know about this character.

17. "Your protagonist empties the contents of his/her pockets, purse, and/or backpack onto a table. What all was dumped onto the table?"

But, we're going to ask for more than a list of contents...this is merely a jumping off point.

18. A photo prompt.

19. Your assignment: write a piece (fiction or non-fiction) inspired by a song. It can be any song of your choosing. If it is not clear from your story what the song is, throw us a bone and put a note at top or bottom of your post to let us know what you picked.

20. This week's prompt is simply to write a post expressing what you or your protagonist are grateful for this year.

21. If you're unfamiliar with flash fiction, think of it as a condensed short story. Shorter than short. The word count for flash fiction typically ranges from 100 to 2000 words.

We have two prompts for you to choose from this week...



I truly enjoyed spending time with them. I just had to decide which of them I would kill.

22. This week's prompt: Write a short first-person story about your first love, or write a short fiction piece about a character's first love.

23. Your word is tradition.

24. Your assignment this week is to write a post about charity. It can be fiction or non-fiction.

What does charity mean to you? What ways do you give? How do you teach your children? What memories do you have of first realizing others didn't have what you had? Or, have you ever been in need?

These are just some ideas to get you thinking. Feel free to take whatever angle you choose.

25. Your assignment is to write a short piece - fiction, non-fiction, poetry, whatevs - in which each sentence starts with a the next letter of the alphabet. Starting with "A." So, yes, your finished product will consist of 26 sentences.

26. For this week's prompt, grab something out of your pantry and write a short piece - using all the words in the ingredients. It can be fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose.

27. Hemingway was famous for his super sparse writing. He used almost only dialogue in many of his works. Write a piece in which you use ONLY dialogue.

28. This week, we're asking you to imagine this, "You are trapped (alone or with others) in a single location during the fury and/or aftermath of a blizzard of historic proportions."

29. Write a piece of flash fiction - it should be no more than 600 words and should take no longer than 3 minutes to read aloud.

And the requirement for this particular one is a character MUST tell a joke and a character MUST cry. One character can do both.

30. Write a piece that begins with the line, "I could never have imagined" and ends with the line, "Then the whole world shifted.

31. Write a piece - 600 word limit - about finding a forgotten item of clothing in the back of a drawer or closet. Let us know how the item was found, what it is, and why it's so meaningful to you or your character.

32. We want you to imagine you've just had a fight with a friend, a co-worker, husband, significant other, child - you get the picture. You're mad. It's time for revenge.

What would you sell?

Write a humorous listing for eBay or Craig's List. Talk about the history of the items, why they must go.

33. Water gives life. It also takes it away. Write a piece inspired by either sentence or both.