Sunday, August 28, 2016

Writing Prompt: The Challenge: That’s Hot

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt is a challenge designed to push your creative boundaries and stretch those artistic wings.

Today’s challenge stretches your symbolic and thematic description skills.

Write a scene that uses “hot” as a theme or motif, using as many words, images, or ideas for “hot” as you can—but don’t use the actual word “hot.”

Extra Challenge: Also avoid using common synonyms for “hot,” such as: warm, heat, and blistering.

Super Duper Challenge: Use “hot” as a motif, but set the scene in a cold, winter climate.


  1. As the sun rose in the east, temperatures slowly moved upwards, and a growing sense of comfort came across as he beheld the icy winds and polar bears on the shores of Greenland. He knew that the rise and setting of the sun were signs of the rotation of the earth - and that for each of these movements he was nearing the end of his virgin journey to this special territory loved by many, but feared by even more. One error or one ommission could end up costing you the very existence on this planet if you ended up in the cold water that could potentially paralyze you in mere minutes, if not only seconds.

  2. [ I haven't done a prompt challenge in forever, so apologies if I'm a bit rusty! :) ]

    It isn't until they escape the blizzard that the airship finally picks up speed. The great black balloons soak up the sunlight in giant gulps, dragging the ship upwards as they expand. Leather and fabric both shed ice as steam as the desert swiftly reclaims them from the northern dragon's grip.

    Mei doesn't move from her crouch under the cargo netting as the winds lick away the last of the frost. Even as the desert seeps back into her bones, she can't stop listening for the glacial shriek of their pursuers.

    "Hey, hey now." Charlie catches sight of her over the side of cargo, then crawls in beside her with a worried frown. "It's safe. The Sands don't give us up that easily." He pulls her into his arms and Mei curls against his chest, desperate to reclaim that feeling of deep blanketing love from her Goddess and her uncle.

  3. This is from my WIP... I had two "HOT"s in it and thought this would be good exercise to replace them.

    She stepped out into the hard desert air. It always felt like it was sucking the moisture right out of her skin. She could tell the temperature by the smell of it: a broad-spectrum from baked earth to melting asphalt, alfalfa and cattle dung from the stock yard up by the railroad tracks. The grass crunched under her feet as she cut across the lawn to her car. It would probably be brown by the time she returned home, since she’d miss at least a day of watering. She was seriously thinking of xeriscaping the yard, but TJ liked to play and tumble with his friends in the grass.

  4. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds pranced barefoot in the snow.

  5. Matteo wiped the sweat from his brow. His shirt clung to his sweated coated body like an extra layer of skin. Somehow, whenever he turned on the oven, the entire kitchen rose to the same temperature he set the device to. He fanned his face with his cook book and stared at the winter landscape outside the window. A massive difference to the endless summer back in Borikén.

    He turned back to the oven. His quesitos baked in three rows of five and he used the same recipe grandma gave him. She and granpa promised to visit him and he could not wait to see how they reacted to the cold. Bountiful snow blankets promised to be a new experience after a lifetime engulfed by tropical sunlight.

    The alarm dinged and the sweetest aroma filled the room. Matteo grabbed his softest mittens and pulled the tray out. His face got blasted by a concentrated wave of 350 degrees. It burned, like the one time he went to the beach in Cerro Gordo with his parents and forgot to wear sunscreen. Good times.