Sunday, May 03, 2015

Writing Prompt: The Best Night of Your Life Gone Wrong

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Welcome to the inaugural Sunday Writing Prompts!

Our first prompt turns the good into bad, helping us find ways to develop conflicts in any situation.

Write a scene inspired by the best night of your life, but write it as if everything had gone wrong.

Skill tip: Look for ways to take a scene with no conflict and find ways to create conflict. What can go wrong? What obstacles might be in the way of that happy memory? Who might be out to get the protagonist?

Share in the comments!


  1. Fun. I actually ended up getting a pretty fully-fleshed book idea from this prompt, although who knows if and when I'll write it. :)

    Skates and Green-Eyed Aliens

    The night we won the Lanark County Hockey Tournament should have been the best day of my life. I even got MVP for the winning game, for a spectacular diving shot that hit top corner and had the crowd cheering. Sadly, it took a sharp turn for the worse when the green and brown aliens with the wrap-around eyes stole us and stuck us in an artic outpost ringed by a singed and half-chewed fence.

    I still think it would have been a pretty good day if the aliens hadn’t stole Coach Raebeck as well.

    1. I really like your voice in this piece! It would make for a book I'd plow through in a day, unable to take a break from it. Nicely started!

  2. Great prompt Janice. Fits in nicely with my WIP. Gonna tackle this today. Thanks!

  3. Thanks Janice. This is what I came up with:

    The Opening Reception

    As she dressed in her best black bohemian dress, Stacy was thinking about how hard she worked to get to the point of having a one woman show. She could finally get some acknowledgement from the art community and maybe even sell some paintings. Even though she was completely familiar with Murphy’s Law there was no way to predict what would happen that night.

    Arriving early at the old Victorian house that held the gallery Stacy noticed that the pianist hadn’t arrived yet. The bartender was just setting up and the smell of cooking bacon wafted through to the gallery. What a horrible smell, hope it doesn’t stay long or stick to the paintings, she thought.

    “Hey lady can you watch the bar a minute? Have to go to the john before all these stiffs arrive.”

    “Sure, I think I can handle it!” She thought differently but what could she do?

    Roy the bartender disappeared into the kitchen.

    Soon there was smoke pouring through the door and the alarms were all ringing . The fire engine arrived with sirens blasting and there was not much they could do. Those old Victorians burn up fast.

    Stacy managed to grab a few of her paintings on her way out but most of her work went up in smoke.

    It seemed Roy had knocked into a pan of grease, starting the fire in the kitchen, while the chef was in the butler’s pantry arranging trays of shrimp cocktails.

    1. Murphys Law indeed. I have nightmares of something similar happening. Nicely written!

  4. The best night spent
    Writing words that soared
    Telling stories that needed to be told
    Turned sour, turned rancid, made me sick.

    The words fell short,
    The phrases sounded stale in my throat
    My tongue dried out, and my teeth turned to chalk.

    Never had I so battled to turn thoughts to lyrics
    To paint the page with my prose,
    To share the beauty that grew in my mind.
    But this night, it would not come.

    I felt the stir of the Word Magic,
    But the next step eluded me.
    To take that stirring, that coiling in the pit of my stomach,
    And bring it to life through ink and paper,
    I knew how not for the first time in my life.

    I flung myself to the bed, awrithe with the tingling energy of stories untold,
    No longer aware of where to channel that energy.
    I clutched my pillow to my chest,
    Curled up, fetal and wild,
    Looked about with feverish fear
    For anything that might relieve the burn, the squirm, the unrest.

    My eyes fell upon a bit of glass, a mirror, a trigger,
    And my heart paused.
    A viewfinder, a focus, a kaleidoscope of imagery potential,
    A portal through which to channel this fever,
    And best of all! No need for the words which so cruelly eluded me
    For now.

    I would come back to you, Word Magic,
    When you no longer had your back turned to me.
    Until then, I turn to my Camera.

    I couldn't quite find a prose scene to write. This is what came out instead.

    1. Well done - I can really feel the angst!