Write a story every day, part 2: The Trick

A few weeks ago I described how I go about writing a new short story every day: I choose a premise and improvise upon it. Coming up with premises is the easy part of the process—I’ll tell you about the hard part later. But suppose you’re stuck for a theme on which to improvise. Here are a few suggestions. Sit down with a notebook and a pencil, clear your mind, and write a story!

1. “The Devil needed a pedicure, so one Saturday morning he decided to go to Chinatown.”

2. “Snow White came home from a stroll in the forest and found a strange dwarf asleep on her bed.”

3. “One day not long ago, I received a phone call from my mother. She had been dead for twelve years.”

4. “Saint Peter got fired from his job as the gatekeeper of Heaven. It was my fault. Let me tell you exactly how it happened.”

5. “Genghis Khan had a soft spot for his pet guinea pig, until the day Fuzzy went one hair too far.”

6. “God and the serpent made a bet, the outcome of which nobody could have foreseen.”

7. “Sam Thorne woke up one day, only to discover that his entire right arm had disappeared.”

8. “The battle of the sexes started with a simple misunderstanding.”

9. “One day deep in the forest, the bear and the wolf decided to sit down and try to settle their longstanding feud. They retained me as their stenographer.”

10. “The lawyer had a throbbing toothache, so he went to see his dentist. The two of them soon regretted their fateful encounter.”