The Birthday Prompt

Today’s prompt–to write a story about one of your characters’ birthdays–may seem simple, but it isn’t.

Why’s that? Because of one extra rule I’m going to throw in:

The birthday celebration you’re writing about must be correct to their culture and must also be different from what’s usually done in our culture–how different is up to you.

Some thoughts to get you started:

  • In medieval times, they often didn’t celebrate birthdays. Instead babies were named a number of days–sometimes years–after their birth, and their Naming Day was celebrated.
  • Many cultures send their kids on pilgrimages or vision quests when the kids become adults.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t even CELEBRATE birthdays–what if you’re character’s mad because if they lived in the next town over, they’d be having a big party, but their parents don’t believe in that stuff?
  • Not all cultures give gifts on birthdays, and in some, it’s common practice to only give gifts that will be useful.

I hope that will help get you started. Please post the first sentence–or paragraph if it’s short enough–of your response in the comments.

My response:

For my tenth birthday, my mother took me to Free Cove. I’d always wanted to see the capitol with its four towers, representing the four great families of our nation.


About Dianna Gunn

I am a freelance writer by day and a fantasy author by night. My first YA fantasy novella, Keeper of the Dawn, is available now through The Book Smugglers Publishing.

Posted on June 29, 2012, in Inspirational, Prompts, Short Fiction, Writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Varrin knelt before the shrine, clutching a golden vial tightly in his little hands. Ever so carefully he tilted the vial, letting the water splash down into the shallow stone basin amidst the petals of the radiant crimson sun-flowers. “Happy birthday, mother,” he whispered. “I miss you.”

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks so much for sharing, what an intriguing start. I love that you took the twist on the birthday theme one step further by making it his mother’s birthday rather than his–unless they have the same birthday? That might be interesting.

      Thanks for stopping by,

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