How a Random Word Generator Confirmed a “Writing Year”

All writers use writing prompts at some point—it’s almost a given. Whether looking for non-fiction prompts or ideas for a short story (or even a novel), many writers turn to the prompt for inspiration.

When looking for writing prompts, I see a lot of really good prompts for fiction—but the non-fiction ones seem more difficult somehow (though this may not be the case for everyone). Either they just don’t resonate or they don’t seem like a topic that my readers would want to read about.

For some reason, I recently forgot about my best source for non-fiction writing prompts: looking up “writing topics.” So turned to another fallback: random words. Random words are fun, anyway, because you learn some new vocab along the way.

Going to RandomWordGenerator.com, I chose the setting of receiving three random words—and here’s what came up:

Obviously, these words have a connection—at least to writers—so I did a test to see if most of the word trios I got had a connection of any sort.

Every other grouping I got was completely unconnected.

Other writers are sure to see the importance in this synchronicity, as it describes some main parts of a writer’s process:

Compose. Obviously, this is the first part of the process: creating the story or piece itself, the first draft or rough draft.

Flow: Catching any issues with flow is crucial when editing—if a piece doesn’t flow well, it won’t be as effective or will end up being complete nonsense. Again, this applies to both fiction and non-fiction.

Quotation: In this day and age, just about all writers hope to find quotable quotes in their works to share with potential readers and catch their interest.

Why is this important? To tell the truth, it may not be.

Then again, a friend in high school—also a writer—once said, “I don’t believe in coincidences.”

At any rate, it’s a good way for a writer to start a new year.

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Literary Holiday Food (in Theory)

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

When the holidays come around, food is at the top of everyone’s list. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are loads of joyous seasonal foods that come around to make us all pig out. So what would be the festive foods of choice for some well-known literary characters?

Count Dracula: Red Velvet Cake

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com
Though Dracula’s holiday of choice is obviously Halloween, there’s no reason he can’t enjoy a good meal — or dessert associated with the other holidays that follow. Red velvet, with its blood-tinged look, would surely be Dracula’s holiday fave.

Orpheus: Kourabiethes

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Coming from Greece, Orpheus would no doubt choose these beautiful sugary cookies — a traditional Christmas favorite.

Scrooge: Turkey

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

We all know that once Ebeneezer Scrooge takes his turn for the better at the end of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, he joyfully sends a boy to fetch a turkey for the his favorite family. Enough said.

Frodo: Pumpkin Bread

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

A vegetable of the earth, pumpkin would seem to be a favorite for Frodo. And a breaded version would be easy for him to take on his long quest to Mordor.

Winnie the Pooh: Honey-Glazed Ham

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

A bear must have his honey for Christmas — so why not enjoy on a nicely sliced ham loaf?

King Arthur: Perry

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

The King of Camelot surely took part in the medieval festivities with perry, basically a pear version of apple cider.

Dorian Gray: Spiked Egg Nog

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

A rich egg nog will do just fine for Dorian Gray for the holidays — but only if it is garnished with a bit of the best liquor there is.

***

And for one of my characters, Archaeologist Anna Purgitt: Panettone

"Hypothesizing Some Literary Characters' Favorite Holiday Foods" (blog post by Brenna Pierson) | ArtisticallyWriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Being an age-old favorite in various countries, Panettone is the perfect choice for an expert archaeologist.

Anna Purgitt is featured in the short story, “Revvel’s Tomb.”

Check out other posts in the Literary Food Series.

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Literary Desserts (in Theory)

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Everybody loves dessert — including favorite literary characters! What would these characters crave when it comes to satiating their sweet tooth? Here are some tempting possibilities.

Count Dracula: Cherry Pie

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com
Just as with his donut choice, Count Dracula’s favorite dessert would include a nice, oozing red filling.

Orpheus: Baklava

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Being a character of Greek myths, Orpheus would of course prefer a traditional Greek dessert.

Scrooge: Pound Cake

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Spending money on fancy dessert simply is a waste to Ebeneezer Scrooge — that’s why he would opt for a regular pound cake, sans toppings.

Frodo: Scalloped Apples

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Apples picked fresh off the tree and made into scalloped apples would likely be a choice of Mr. Frodo Baggins of the Shire.

Winnie the Pooh: Honey Cupcakes

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Such bright and beautiful desserts as cupcakes are perfect for Winnie the Pooh–and of course, his favorite flavor is honey.

King Arthur: Custard Tart

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

A popular medieval dessert, the custard tart is a hearty dessert fit for the King of Camelot.

Dorian Gray: Tira Misu

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Why, only something as decadent as the most perfectly made portion of tira misu would do for Dorian Gray!

***

And for one of my characters, Archaeologist Anna Purgitt: Egyptian Rice Pudding

"Literary Desserts (in Theory)" (blog post) | artisticallywriting.com | authorbrennapierson.wordpress.com

Drawing off her expertise in the ancient world and having tried all kinds of olden dessert re-creations, Anna prefers the simple-yet-sweet Egyptian rice pudding for dessert.

Anna Purgitt is featured in the short story, “Revvel’s Tomb.”

Check out other posts in the Literary Food Series.

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