Review: “Story Starters” by Clifford Fryman

“Muses never play nice. They torment a writer with ideas when there is no time to write and refuse to cooperate when in front of a blank screen. It’s enough to make a writer pound their head on their keyboard. But even the most fickle of muses can be thrown into a creative frenzy with StoryStarters prompts – a handful of words to inspire thousands more. Over 1,000 prompts to tickle your muse.”

I thought maybe Clifford’s muse had taken steroids when I first stumbled on his Twitter meme “#storystarters” one day.  Clifford was steadily tweeting out many of these story prompts over the course of each day.  In all fairness, a small group of writers joined him in sending out prompts, but his were by far the most numerous.

Turns out he was working on gathering the Story Starters into an e-book and so I assumed that once the e-book was out, the Story Starters would cease and Clifford’s muse would retreat into hiding like my own muse often does.  Then I come to find out that his muse actually specializes in Story Starters and cranking them out continuously is a great source of entertainment for her.

His wife, Lisa, says in the introduction to the book that he has had this continual inspiration at least as long as she’s known him and, in fact, that’s why she married him.  (I think she may have been kidding.  Or at least exaggerating.)

But you and I can benefit from Clifford’s turbo-charged muse now that his “Story Starters” e-book is available.  There are two editions – a free “Mini Edition” that contains 67 pages of Story Starters and the full edition which was released on Amazon on May 1 that contains 154 pages of Story Starters (that’s over 1000 Story Starters!) plus two flash fiction stories inspired by the prompts written by Fryman himself and links to stories written by others.

Although the name is “Story Starters,” in my case, I haven’t limited their use to the beginning of a story.  They could come in the middle or the end or they might not even be used verbatim in the story.  The Story Starter can sometimes simply inspire another idea which inspires another idea which inspires a story.  It’s interesting how the brain latches onto something and it’s impossible to predict the end result.

Some of my readers will remember a story called “The Pianist” that I wrote last year that turned into a serial story that sadly was abandoned after four episodes due to my lack of outlining.  The Pianist was inspired by a Story Starter:

“He decided he must be deaf if music was the language of the heart.  The song had everyone in the room weeping except him.”

I didn’t use the words at all in my story, but I used the sentiment that was implied by the words.  But I digress.  “The Pianist” will be making a reappearance in my writing at some point down the road, likely in a different form and after considerable outlining.

If you’re looking for inspiration but not sure whether Story Starters will work for you, then i recommend checking out the Twitter hashtag “#storystarters” to have a little sampling from Fryman or other writers.  If you like what you see, then you can download either the Mini or Full edition of “Story Starters” and start writing.

“Story Starters – Mini Edition” is available free at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble

“Story Starters – Full Edition” is available for $.99 at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble


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4 Responses to Review: “Story Starters” by Clifford Fryman

  1. @GreeneJeffrey says:

    Wonderfull review. As you know, I'm using one of his story starters and it only took me four or five lines in to start to write.

  2. Thanks, PJ. I was looking for something like this.

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