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Write Right Now (On Ice)


Since its hot, and the grass is always greener, this week’s theme for creative prompts is coldness and ice. Take a moment to chill out in writing or art, whatever your medium may be, and create something brand new in this world of ours.

  • Let a snow globe shake up your writing. You could find an image for inspiration or set a scene inside a wintry globe on a frozen night.
  • Put some idiomatic ice in your life (and in a piece of writing).
  • Consider chilly receptions, frosty glances, and other expressions of emotional frigidity.
  • Think of the noises made by ice, from the slow cracking of a thawing pond, to the clattering of cubes through the ice maker on a refrigerator door. Include one of these sounds in your opening line or verse.
  • Use the actual sound, or name, of one of these icy sound effects, to inspire new work.
  • On December 14, 1924, in Fairfield, Montana, a strong cold front moved through town, dropping the temperature 84 degrees in 12 hours: from 63°F at noon, to -21°F at midnight. Document or fictionalize an epic temperature drop.
  • Fans! Include an overhead fan, box fan, or hand-held fan in a bit of prose or verse.
  • Do you feel the coming rain or cold in your bones? Imagine or invent some new way to predict future weather (cooling weather) through the body.
  • Think about someone who’s traditionally cold-hearted, like a well-known literary villain, and try to see their icy decisions from their point of view. Were we missing some emotional complexity, or is their empathy below zero?
  • Write to the prismatic wonder of the snowflake.
  • Recall, or invent, a scene played out against a backdrop of extreme cold.

Here’s your completely unsolicited writing tip for the day: focus on your verbs. Try to pick the most active, specific verbs that you can while avoiding vague verbs like “do” or “make” in most cases. You don’t want every verb to be so strange (like defenestrate for example) that it jars the reader out of your world and into the dictionary, but you also want your story to be vivid and clear. Simple is almost always best, but you also want your story to have energy and specificity.

Did you miss earlier prompts lists? Here they are.

Like what you’ve written? Put it away for a week, then revisit and when it’s ready to go, submit. If you have feedback, or ideas for prompts, please get in touch.

[Photograph of the Clark Fork River by Submittable team member Kelly Hart]