Thursday, June 16

Posted by Laurel Garver on Thursday, June 16, 2016 10 comments
Seasonal prompts can be helpful in your routine, to get you paying attention to your immediate environment and the sensory experiences you can collect. It can also get you thinking about story potential in everyday events. Consider how to spin theses prompts for different genres or milieus. For example, try "the hottest day I've experienced" as memoir, as dystopian fiction, as magical realism, as SciFi, or as middle grade humor.

Photo by
I know summer has arrived when...

My idea of a perfect summer day is...

Smells I associate with summer.

Summer foods I have been craving for months.

How my protagonist's neighborhood changes in summer.

A homesick kid at sleepaway camp misses….

Someone added a mysterious chemical to the neighborhood pool, causing….

My worst family vacation disaster.

A homicidal maniac uses an ice cream truck to lure out victims.

What my protagonist likes most and least about summer.

Your best friend / worst enemy gets pushed into a pool at a fancy party.

Instead of selling ice cream, the roving musical truck in this neighborhood offers _____.

The hottest day I’ve ever experienced.

The boys’ and girls’ summer camps go to war.

A flea market purchase turns out to have magical powers.

While backpacking through Europe, a group of friends accidentally kills one of their own

A child and his/her cousin are stuck at a remote cabin for the summer with their grandparents and discover….

A tiger gets loose at the local county fair.

My favorite summer supper.

My protagonist’s idea of a wonderful summer vacation.

A horseback riding trail takes a group of riders magically back in time.

An unlikely ensemble takes shelter in a minimart during a hurricane.

Scientists discover what fireflies are actually communicating through their blinking bodies.

A new swimwear trend nobody could have predicted.

My best summer vacation memory.

A pie-eating contest goes horribly wrong.

The summer all the beaches were empty because….

How my protagonist would feel about going to a public pool in a swimsuit.

Two polar-opposite families are double-booked for a beach house rental and decide to share it.

The song of the cicada is actually a secret message

How three ingenious Girl Scouts saved the cook-out.

An inventor creates an ingenious new way to cool off in the summer.

Which of these appeals most to you?


  1. Quite a few appealed to me. This is a great selection. I particularly like the flea market prompt. I love flea markets.

    1. Have fun with it, Elizabeth! I love flea markets, too. You never know what you might find.

  2. That's quite a long list , and summer is rather short.
    My favorite prompt is the last one - the invention of a new way to cool off in summer.

    1. Glad to have stirred your imagination. Have fun with it!

  3. Wow, what a great list! And cool like you said, being able to put different genre spins on each one. The roving non-ice-cream truck selling ??? caught my eye. Sci-fi or fantasy for sure!!

    1. When my daughter was little, we told her it was "the music truck" sent around to entertain the neighborhood. Once she saw neighbor kids buy overpriced ice cream from Mr Softee, the jig was up. But that was kind of my inspiration for that prompt. Have fun with it!

  4. Those are awesome! If I get to some of my MG ideas, I'm thinking that camp war one could be a blast! :)

    1. A few harmless pranks could escalate, and then...WAR! :-)

  5. I love so many of these ideas!!! I especially like the ones about the favorite summer supper and the fireflies communicating. Thank you, Laurel!