Wednesday Writing Prompt

~ By Jeff Salter

Attention writers!

It’s a new year, and what better way to flex those writing muscles than with a writing prompt.

Good luck, 🙂


TV News Before Coffee

You’re a 27-year-old female who, six months ago, moved to a new city for a job you really like.

You haven’t even had coffee yet and the TV news has a story about your death in an automobile accident last night.  It’s not only your name, but your driver’s license photo … AND the crash scene footage shows your vehicle!

You look out to your driveway and see your car is gone!

Though you’d heard no rings, your cell phone reveals 31 missed calls … all from the same number.

A frantic call to the police department establishes that it’s no mistake — a neighbor of the victim made a positive I.D.

Peering out the window, you see neighbors staring at your house.  Presumably, one of these neighbors is the one who told police you were the body in the vehicle.

You dash to the bathroom to look into the mirror.


  •             Describe what you see in the mirror.
  •             What’s the next thing you do?
  •             Who were those calls from?
  •             Which neighbor do you think mis-identified you? Why?
  •             How did your car get into that deadly wreck?
  •             How on earth are you gonna get to work?
  •             Would it be safer to play dead for a while?
  •             Would you write this as mystery, supernatural, or comedy?

Well? How did it go? Leave a comment and let us know!

Thank you Jeff for another fun prompt!

Jeff Salter has completed seven novel manuscripts, three of which he considers chick lit.  He also co-authored two non-fiction books with a royalty publisher, in addition to an encyclopedia article and a signed chapter. Jeff has also published articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems. His writing has won nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests. He’s a retired librarian, a decorated Air Force veteran, and a published photo journalist. He’s married with two children and six grandchildren.

23 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing Prompt”

  1. GREAT Prompt, Jeff!! I haven’t written any answers to it anywhere other than in my thoughts, but I can tell you this! It WILL be a paranormal!


  2. To start with,it struck me as a thriller, but as I read into the prompt,I thought’Supernatural’. Good prompt; keep ’em coming. We had two new mini-crises today, and I’m just checking mail…don’t give up on me.

  3. Jenn! I should have known you’d put an element of naughtiness in it. LOL.
    Well, in this case, I suppose his ‘scythe’ has been un-touched for so long that he’s dying to let her get to it. Ha.

  4. Runere, I could never beat YOUR version! Even dwon to the puffy eyes and red lines from the pillow. Wow. Great stuff. You sure can think on your … er, feet. Well, whatever you’re on while you’re typing!

  5. Thanks so much for the prompt Jeff!

    You know, my uncle recently got a letter from his bank, asking for info on his next of kin because they thought he was dead.

    It was creepy, but also funny.

  6. Another great prompt, Jeff.

    I’d write this as a paranormal comedic romance. Maybe the hunky Angel of Death made some sort of mistake and he needs the heroine to help him sort it out before he loses his job. Never mind she’s going to be late for hers. It okay, though, because she has an unsettling desire to touch his scythe. LOL!


  7. I’m thinking I would write it as a romantic mystery…that’s what I usually write! She’d call the FBI and find her soulmate in the man protecting her.

  8. Wow!That was great, Jeff! I’m sitting here laughing and rubbing my hands together!

    Let’s see. Hmmm. The mirror would reveal a sleep-puffy face, one still with those red lines on your cheek from wrinkles in the pillow case. One with confused eyes. And she can’t call out, b/c her phone dies in her shaking hand as she tries to use it, drained from 31 incoming calls. But the dead phone gives her a chance to think things over; if someone reported her dead, maybe someone wants her dead–and missed! She decides to hold off on contacting anyone. It’s not like she’ll be expected at work. She’s dead! She rushes to the window to peek out.

    It would be a male neighbor looking up, watching way too hard. One who unknowingly got involved with an IBM (*cough* Italian Business Man)connected girlfriend. He tried to break it off the night before; she got so upset over being dumped he refused to take her home, afraid he’d be whacked on the spot. Sooo, girlfriend steals the neighbor’s car — he’d told her the extra set of keys she spotted hanging on the wall were from where he ocasionally works on it — and crashes in a fit of temper. Boyfriend, chasing after her, witnesses the fiery explosion, and while stumbling around imagining the ways he’s going to die at the hands of her family, comes across a smoldering purse blown clear of the wreck.

    He opens it. Whaddaya know? It belongs to the owner of the stolen car! She’d worked very late, left her purse in the car, and zonked out hard enough to tune out the phone. He panicks. It’s too good an opportunity for him to pass up. He ‘identifies’ the body.

    Stuck waiting for police to interview him as a witness to the accident, he’s been calling her over and over, to beg her to hear him out before she calls the police herelf. He just wants enough time to get his things together to run. He’s finally allowed to leave the station, but can’t approach her house. If anyone spots her, his story is shredded. Both he and she are waiting for dark. Him to sneak into her house; her to sneak out.

    I’d begin the meat of the story there.

    Other than the tragedy of the woman killed, I would write this as a romantic comedy, with elements of suspense.

    You have the best writing prompts, Jeff! Now what’s YOUR version?

  9. You’re certainly welcome, Deborah.
    I’d like to see what you come up with.
    If I ever developed it, I think it would be romantic suspense.
    Playing it for comedy would be really difficult.

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