You want to write better. You want to write more.

Ann Linquist I’m Ann Linquist, freelance writer and online writing instructor.  Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or effective business documents, I invite you to explore this site and find out how to reach your writing goals.

A Creation Myth

Without meaning to offend anyone, I do claim that we mere mortals can also come up with a meaningful creation myth. Well, “myth” might be the wrong word, but how about taking a stab at answer this question: How did we get here?

Were gods sitting somewhere up very high, waving wands and creating the cosmos and our planet? Did an egg crack open and give birth to a variety of demigods who continually battle with each other for supremacy, while we mortals struggle to stay alive amid forces we don’t understand? Did some feisty amoeba get a bunch of friends together to organize a larger being? Did the eternal forces of lightness and darkness crash into each other, creating matter and ultimately human beings? Does a trickster god lurk in dark matter, waiting to pounce when we discover his/her existence? Did a comet hit a cooling rock and let loose little gremlins? Who was watching all this?

I often think much of fiction is about writing a version of the fables of old. Try one!

Childhood Memories of a Mother

Our mothers may be living or dead.  Mom, Mama, Mother–she was usually there when we were young.  Those distant memories can be captured rather than lost.

This is a creative non-fiction challenge.  Remember being a child.  Remember your mother (or the one who raised you) as she was with you.  Write one memory, not a summary.  Show her to us through your young eyes.

A Plot Wants to Erupt

Celeste paused on the threshold of the log cabin that leaned to one side, ready to topple.

Ramon peered out of the woods at the woman who had just arrived.


These days you’ll find it very common to sit in your family room, watching TV while you have your computer or tablet open on your lap and are talking on your smart phone.  Screens, screens, screens.
But maybe this is only the start.  I challenge you to look forward (or sideways) (or inward) (or cross-eyed) to imagine multiplying (or layering) (or smashing) (or climbing inside) those screens to see how they affect your life.

The Holidays?

How about telling a holiday story, but including one of the following very un-holiday-like items as a way to yank your story into new territory.

–Easter eggs
–motorcycle sidecar
–Franklin Roosevelt’s dog Fala
–tire iron
–Tarot cards
–tree bark

Little Nell Redux

Peanut inspired me on that last challenge. I’d like to set up a story that we can all build on. In this challenge you have a play to put on. Feel free to be yourselves as characters if you wish since the casting has not been finalized. We need a director and also a sponsor putting up the money who isn’t quite sure what to think.

The setting: Bumble City local theater group is putting on a play, very roughly based on the plot of Little Nell. In case that doesn’t ring a bell, Little Nell (a Dickens character from The Old Curiosity Shop) is the orphaned, lonely, teenage daughter who lives with a rather inadequate grandfather who gambles away all the rent money for their cold water, Victorian-era apartment in the slums of London. An evil landlord, demands the rent, or the usual “fate worse than death” if Nell doesn’t pay up. Her one ally is the illiterate young man, Stanley, who works in the shop for her grandfather.  I won’t rule out a hero entering stage left.

The Bumble Players have decided to recast the play in modern times. You can take it from there.

Roberta and Albert

Albert (actually Alberto, with Italian parentage) is a social worker, mid thirties, living in Chicago. He has fallen in love with Roberta, single mother to a two-month-old baby boy. She has recently separated from her somewhat feckless husband, Stanley, who wants to be a professional musician.

Albert has plans to woo the lovely Roberta, so he can take care of her. Roberta is currently living in a third floor walk-up apartment and being supported by her parents, who don’t know what else to do.

What will happen to these people? How about writing one scene and then a synopsis of this rest of this tale.