Today we are going to write a story. A story has a beginning, a middle and an end. A story starts when something happens. A story starts with an inciting incident. An inciting incident is something that prompts action.
The Cat Who Writes
Hello. Before I give you your writing prompt today, please let me introduce myself.
I am Harper. I am a cat. A cat who writes. I dictate to my typist.
This is my office. A cardboard box. I don’t need a desk.
I am honored to write for The Write Practice and share my writing knowledge. Joe Bunting might actually be a cat.
Are you ready to write with me? Here is my first writing prompt for you.
A story starts when something happens. A story starts with an inciting incident. An inciting incident is something that prompts action.
Without an inciting incident, nothing meaningful can happen. And when nothing meaningful happens, it’s not a story.
— Shawn Coyne
Shawn Coyne wrote The Story Grid, one of many books I am studying now to learn the art of writing a story.
I have spent years studying the art of taking a catnap. However, I want more from my life than just finding sunbeams. Writing gives my life meaning. And, after all, I am named after Harper Lee, the writer. I, however, plan on writing more than one book.
Today’s story starts with a stick of butter. I am a cat and I love butter. I don’t know if all cats like butter, but I do, and so does Annie; she is the golden retriever I live with.
Annie took a stick of butter off the counter and she didn’t want to give it up. Annie is the protagonist of this story. She is the central character, the “hero” of the butter story.
The story begins with dialogue. The antagonist is speaking. They actively oppose Annie from eating the butter.
I personally just want Annie to share the butter with me.
Here is the first line of your story:
“Release. Drop it. Annie, look at me. You’re not looking at me. You can’t eat the butter stick,” said _________ .
(Give the antagonist in your story a name.)
You can begin your story with the dog stealing the butter. It is up to you. This is your story. Or you can begin your story with the video.
The middle of the story is where the story takes place. Will the antagonist be able to take the stick of butter away from Annie?
This is the part where you get to write the Middle, and then you get to write the End.
Use your imagination. Take Annie on an adventure, the conflict over the stick of butter.
Let the suspense build with progressive complications, the rising action of the story. What does Annie do to evade the antagonist? How does the antagonist try to take the butter?
Or let’s just call the antagonist the butter thief. Annie did not steal the butter. It was on the counter, which means it is her food. Why do only people get to eat butter?
We need a resolution to the story. How does this story end? Does Annie get to keep the butter and eat it? Does Annie share the butter with me, Harper?
The end of the story is where the conflict gets resolved. Or where we find out what happened to Annie and the butter.
I am very curious to read what you will write. This is a writing prompt based on a real-life butter event with a dog. I was there, and I know what happened in real life.
But I think your story will be even better.
Can you think of real-life experiences that you could turn into writing prompts? Do they also involve butter? Let me know in the comments.
Take fifteen minutes to write the end of the butter story. Well, the middle and the end.
What happens to the butter? Does Annie the dog eat the butter? Does she drop it?
Please post your butter adventure in the comments section, and then please read and comment on another writer’s butter adventure story. The Write Practice is a place to encourage and learn. A kind comment can help instruct and encourage a writer to keep writing.
I look forward to reading your butter adventures.
love Harper, the cat who writes