Posted in Prompts

Birth and Death

A society in which both death and birth are celebrated similarly: one as an arrival, one as a fond farewell.

Consider including:

  1. a scene of someone’s death
  2. a scene of someone’s birth
  3. the birth and death of the same person
  4. a birth or death that someone couldn’t celebrate
  5. describe the place to us. Include the culture, rituals, what it looks like, the religion…
  6. do 2-3 character sketches of people who live there



There is a new “life tax” imposed on every man, woman, child, and animal in a city-state. Anyone who doesn’t pay for their life is killed.

Consider including:

  1. Why the tax is being imposed.
  2. How people are killed. Is it the same as for animals?
  3. Showing a character die.
  4. Someone making an attempt to evade the tax without dying.
Posted in Exercises

Dying Young

Write a fragment of a story about a character who is relatively young (under 40), who will die in a few years, but has no inkling of this. You, as author, do. Let that knowledge affect this brief 500-word story fragment. Let the reader know that the character is going to die young. Consider how the story would be different if the character were going to live a long life.