In honor of long, lingering Sunday posts, here’s a fun writing prompt from Challenger Bob Sabatini:
Bingo! Who knew? (ahem, terrible title is mine, not bob’s…)
Get a bingo wheel (or don’t, but the bingo wheel is more fun) and an egg timer. Write on several strips of paper random nouns, lines of dialogue, and other things which are in no way related to what you are currently working on.
Set the timer and begin writing. Write a simple blow-by-blow description of your current project. Do not worry about the theme, what you’re trying to accomplish, where you’re hung up or anything else—just write a sketch of your character and what (s)he is doing. “Joe Blow was walking to the store when he tripped on a banana peel… and so on.” When the timer goes off, pull a slip of paper out of the bingo wheel and reset the timer. Whatever is on that slip of paper, you have to incorporate into the next sentence you write as quickly and seamlessly as you can. Do this until you have used at least 4 of the slips.
Hopefully, you have a work of utter garbage on the desk in front of you—and you have also freed yourself of any notions you may have had about what your story “needs” to be.