Mid-Week Prompt: A Novel Speech, Derailed (plus Dan Brown)

Author:
Publish date:

You’re supposed to be giving a speech, but your mind seizes. You look up at the massive crowd, frantic, and start reciting the contents of an alarming letter you received last week, instead.

(In 500 words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring, feel free to post your stories in the Comments section of the blog.)

--

Hey writers,

Imagine: “Symbols from the book's cover were projected high on the walls. Catering staff wore bright white George Washington-style wigs. Lost Symbol cocktails were offered in oversized martini glasses, followed by champagne for toasting. Delicious finger snacks came by. A White House cake was on display, then sliced up for dessert.”

Oddly, this wasn’t a Gatsby party, but rather Dan Brown’s book release soiree for The Lost Symbol, as documented by Los Angeles Times writer Carolyn Kellogg. (And for the record, Kellogg also said Brown was pretty great behind the mic, contrasting the fictive non-Brown based prompt above, which would be more likely to happen if it were, say, me up there.)

For many in the publishing industry, there’s a lot banking on Brown’s new book, which was released this week. Some see it as the book world’s potential savior, and its colossal output is undeniable—according to Bloomberg, it broke the preorder and Day 1 sales records for adult fiction, and the first U.S. print run was a hulking 5 million copies.

Reviews are in the positive–mixed range, with some citing Brown’s ability to weave a killer plot, and others bashing a lack of style. What do you think: What's the secret to his success? Will it be what’s needed to pull the book biz out of a slump?

No matter what happens, I'm pumped to see the mainstream book world partying again, or at the very least, smiling, finger snacks in hand.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 18

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write an ekphrastic poem.

Personal Essay Awards

Announcing the First Annual Personal Essay Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the first annual Writer's Digest Personal Essay Awards!

From Script

Movie Theatres Return While Indie Cinema and TV Turns to Horror and Beyond (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by ScriptMag.com, read movie reviews from cinephile Tom Stemple. Plus, exclusive interviews with Amazon’s Them creator and showrunner Little Marvin, horror film Jakob’s Wife director Travis Stevens, a history lesson with Dr. Rosanne Welch about trailblazer screenwriter Anita Loos, and much more!

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 17

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a waiting poem.

GettyImages-119430542

Your Story #112

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.

Self-Published Ebook Awards

Announcing the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 8th Annual Self-Published E-book Awards! Discover the titles that placed in the categories of contemporary fiction, fantasy, memoir, mystery, and more.

Greg Russo: On Writing a Film Based on a Video Game

Greg Russo: On Writing a Screenplay Based on a Video Game

Professional screenwriter Greg Russo discusses the joy and challenge of converting a popular video games series into a screenplay and the balance of enticing a new audience while honoring a franchise's fans.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a city poem.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Under the Influence

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character fall under the influence of something or someone.