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    An Idea for Every Writer

    The Idea Factory by Ryan Lanz really delivers on its promise. Whether you're a beginner in a workshop looking for writing prompts as an exercise, or an experienced author looking for an idea that could spark an entire novel, you have found just the right guide. Written in a friendly, conversational style, Lanz's book is divided into three sections: an introduction, which lays out the objectives of The Idea Factory, a section titled Generating Ideas, which gives some great pointers on coming up with your own unique story ideas, and then there is the final and most substantial section—1,000 writing prompts that cover just about every genre and situation imaginable. In this third section, Lanz tends to work with three types of prompts: prompts that include multiple elements (Your life isn't real. It's merely a science experiment performed by aliens to test how much stress individual humans can endure. Detail your escape and revenge.); prompts that include unlikely elements (Include all these elements in a scene: an implosion, a drawing of a cat, a giggly mood, and a can of tomato sauce.); and prompts that include an intro line to start from (Begin a scene with this line: There's no way this amulet is real.). Humor, horror, historical fiction, romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy, YA, and children's fiction are well represented, and many of the prompts work equally well for a number of different genres. No matter what type of fiction you write, you will find more than enough prompts to get your writing going, and as the author himself points out, writing in a genre that is unfamiliar to you can be a very beneficial exercise. The prompts Lanz is offering here are thought-provoking, innovative, and even giddy fun. I guarantee that you'll find prompts here that will surprise and challenge you. As for me, I can't wait to begin on prompt 328.

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