Thrift Store Novelist

Writing Exercise

Go to one or more thrift stores, find the weirdest object/thing you can (you don’t have to buy it, just study it real well) and then write about it. What is it? What color? Texture? What is used for? Who owned it? Why is it in a thrift store? Where did it come from? Who bought it originally?

Do this with more than one item over the course of however many days it takes. Then sit down and create a short story / dialogue / scene that contains as many of the items you wrote about as you can.

*bonus prompt: write about the book in the picture below. What is written inside? Anything? Who was the author? How old is it? Where did it come from? Is it expensive? What kind of stories are told in a book like that?

Book found here

Book found here



Paranormal Romance Writing Prompts

Here are 10 paranormal romance writing prompts to flutter the pulse and horripilate the tender, succulent heart.

'When the dead walk' available  here

‘When the dead walk’ available here

The love of your life dies in a car crash but you still see him/her in your dreams. Soon, other people you see in your dreams start to bleed into waking life. You start looking for the love of your life…

You suspect your significant other is cheating on you, you follow them and find out that they are, with a vampire! (Werewolf! Alien!)

A necromancer accidentally brings a very handsome prince back from the dead…

A woman’s boyfriend leaves every month on the full moon. Suspecting he’s a werewolf, she follows him, finds out he’s actually a were____.

A Sasquatch abducts you because he needs you to heal his sick family. Cue beauty and the beast redux.

A man wins a vacation at a resort, but upon arriving he realizes an old flame works there, but she can’t ever leave…

A succubus leaves the love of her life because she doesn’t want to hurt him.

A vampire is “stalking” a woman. She threatens him with a broken table leg. As soon as he leaves, she is attacked by….

A psychic has a hard time with relationships because she always knows what is going to happen, and how much she will dislike the men she dates in the future.

A tarot reader keeps getting the same card over and over and over again. One day she sees a man with the card tattooed on him.

*bonus prompt: write a short story set in the painting above!

Unusual Words for Writing Prompts

Here are several websites about curious, old, and unused words you can use to A) build your vocabulary B) create interesting writing prompts, short story ideas, or plot movements, characters &ETC

For example:

Lucubration /ˌlo͞ok(y)əˈbrāSHən/ noun formal

the act of studying by candlelight ; nocturnal study ; meditation

that which is composed by night; that which is produced by meditation in retirement; hence (loosely) any literary composition

a piece of writing, typically a pedantic or overelaborate one.

Now take lucubration and craft a short story, writing prompt, or simply start writing about what it makes you think of. Use it in a sentence. Write two paragraphs about someone who lucubrates.

Here are great sites that give many many words to learn and choose from. Happy epeoltarification.


Curios Words & Phrases

A decent list of very unusual words like wimbler, squinch, & ailurophile.


Unused Words

Quite a copacetic list, and handily categorized by noun, verb & adjective.


Etymologically Speaking

A curios list of rather familiar words, with a bonus of telling you where they are from, settings, histories galore!


The Encyclopedia of Arda

A swell list of archaic or unusual words used in Tolkien’s works.


The Best Old English Words

Only 13 words, but stupendous nonetheless.


Bizarre, Old, Outdated or Weird Words

A little outdated itself, but still a good list.


Bonus Video! 40 weird words and their origins



Tarot cards as writing tools

Cartomancy  /ˈkärtəˌmansē/ noun

fortune-telling by interpreting a random selection of playing cards.

Here is an easy way to use tarot cards to generate plot, setting, characters, conflict, inner emotions and writing prompts.


‘Strength’ available here

If you don’t have one already, buy a tarot deck with a tarot book, or, you can download a free tarot app on your smartphone, though working with the actual cards is easiest for me.

Shuffle, pick out cards. See what combos you make. Look in the book and try some spreads. Or put cards together randomly. You can read the descriptions in the guide for an in depth look at the card meanings. They are rife with symbolism and archetypes. Use the combos to prompt your writing! Learn more about the universe in the process.

Look for archetypes on the cards, from there, narrow down your characters. Is your character a priestess archetype but a stay at home mom? The king of pentacles may be an accountant, or successful businessman. The knight of cups may indicate a love interest. The knight of swords might indicate a love interest in a action/adventure story, or a love interest with anger issues. The chariot might be a taxi driver. The star might be the protagonists dream girl. ETC.

Create plot by layering cards on top of your characters. Do they face heartbreak (3 of swords), destruction (the lightning stuck tower), does one get pregnant? Etc. Is their jealousy? Where is the jealousy? At work? In the home? The symbols on the cards will create conflict if you look for it.

Look for setting in the backgrounds of your cards. Are they in a city? A home? The country? Is there a mountain? A forest? What combinations have you made? Do the cards indicate travel?

Here is a basic structure you can use:

Major Arcana: major character archetypes and big plot movements, plot arcs

Suit of cups: emotion, romance, drama, love, water

Suit of pentacles: money, career, the home, family, earth

Suit of wands: creativity, passion, spirituality, sex, fire

Suit of swords: conflict, violence, tragedy, battle-scenes, protection, air

Page cards: young man or woman, message, communications

Knight cards: romantic lead, hero archetypes, competition?

Queen cards: leading ladies, matriarchs, women on top, competition?

King cards: action/political/patriarch leads, the chief archetypes, villains?


Take it a step further and do “readings” for your characters. Take notes and use them to build emotional profiles or to add depth to your characters’ motivations.

Happy writing!

Horror, Sci Fi, Thriller & Fantasy Writing Prompts

Here are 20 writing prompts for the epeolatrists. Happy writing.

'The lone rider' available here

‘The lone rider’ available here

You have a dream about something horrific or terrifying and in your dream you take a picture of it with your cell phone. In the morning, you discover the picture is actually on your phone.

Your significant other/housemate comes home, staggering, foamy blood running down their chin, eyes gone yellow and bulging. Before you can react, they spit all over you.

Your mother insists on hanging a spooky portrait of your grandmother over the fireplace. You swear her eyes follow you. One night, you hear a noise and come downstairs, the portrait above the fireplace is empty.

You just got offered a job at a high tech company to work on super computers. As you are walking home that night you are accosted by yourself, from the future.

One day you realize that everything you write in a particular notebook comes true…

You are having a wonderful afternoon with your sweetheart, in a meadow of wildflowers by a river. Your sweetheart starts running father and farther away, the sky darkens, you look down and notice a needle in your arm. You come to in a hospital bed, strapped down.

An orphan learns her adoptive parents died five years ago…

A woman has never been to the ocean before, and her parents never let her. When she runs away and jumps in the ocean for the first time she grows gills…

A spaceship crash lands in your backyard. A man stumbles out of the wreckage and says the human colony on Mars is collapsing, they need help…

You have a dream that the world ends, the next morning you wake up and the events of your dream start happening.

You find incredibly old writing on a cave wall deep in the mountains, upon searching deeper you find a detailed sarcophagus that looks exactly like you. But there is no mummy in it.

In the future, you live in a completely automated home, but eventually, the AI gets a crush on you and becomes psychotically obsessive. “Where were you last night?”

Digging up your backyard to plant a garden in your new home, you find a witches jar, full of broken glass, nails, thorns, and blades. Disgusted, you throw it out. That night your new home comes under attack.

Every time your house mate’s new boyfriend comes round your cat spits and howls and runs away.

Your boyfriend gives you an antique locket, but when you polish it later that night, an incredibly sexy genii (djinn) comes out.
You go through something traumatic, and move to the other side of the country to escape it, but something follows you…

Your girlfriend starts acting weird and you suspect she is cheating. When you follow her, you see her get abducted by two men in a black SUV.

Your girlfriend starts acting weird and you suspect she is cheating. When you follow her, you see her kick the shit out of two goons.

When you go to your car after work it is gone. When the taxi pulls up to your block, your house is gone, there is an empty lot with a dingy for sale sign. When you try to call your husband/wife, they have no idea who you are. You try to check into a motel, but your credit cards are not recognized.

You are an alien who was given an assignment on earth to infiltrate their society in order to study them in a non invasive way. You find out that you have actually been transmitting a deadly virus that will wipe out the human race. Your blood is the only antidote. You try to approach the humans and help, but they lock you in a cell and torture you. You seriously consider not helping them….


*bonus prompt: write a short story set in the painting above.