Build Your Own

In this week’s build-your-own challenge, write a post that includes two key components that we’ve provided for you.

Image by Bob Mical (CC BY 2.0)

There aren’t any new stories, just new ways to tell them.

You’ve probably heard this line before (and in fact, we discussed this in our last Blogging U. course, when we talked about finding the best angles for our posts).

For this writing challenge, let’s experiment: we’ll provide options for two key elements of your post — the setting and the opening line — and you’ll choose the ones you’d like to work with. Then, you can write any type of post, in any style or genre (fiction, nonfiction, poem, multimedia story) as long as you stick with these two details.

While you’ll all have access to the same options, we anticipate very different perspectives and takes among your submissions.

Choose your setting:

First, select the setting of your piece. You can use one of the options in the gallery below as an actual, physical location for your essay, article, short story, poem, or other work. Or, you can use an image simply as inspiration — as a springboard for your musings.

We’ve not identified the specific geographic locations, as we don’t want them to restrict you. Use these general landscapes to shape your posts: you’re free to create your own worlds based on the details you see.

If you’d like to use an image in your own post, click on the image in the gallery, then click on “View full size” at the bottom right in the Carousel. You can then save the image to your computer. (Do practice proper image attribution and credit Cheri Lucas Rowlands/The Daily Post!)

Pick your opening line:

Second, choose your introductory line from one of these options:

  • It’s a big world out there.
  • I had been here before, a long time ago.
  • I was uncertain, but kept going.
  • In my dreams, I envision a place.
  • Loneliness is an interesting feeling.

While we hope you stick to one of the options above, if none of these exact lines speak to you, tweak one of them to fit the mood or style of your piece.

Now, start writing! We look forward to reading your submissions.

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  1. I also hear the phrase, “Everything old is new again” quite often, but somehow my hairstyle never seems to come back into vogue again. Hmmmmph. I guess I will just recycle my ancient 80’s Big Hair into a new humor post as per some of these prompts above. 😉 Thanks for this article!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Here’s a start using a few of your prompts from above —

      “It’s a big (Hair) world out there. A lush (Tangled) jungle, away from civilization where nobody calls it ‘Creme Rinse’ anymore…. now it’s just ‘Conditioner!”

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I love this. I actually had an idea in mind before. I’ll get right on it. Can I just say thank you for offering these challenges? Having not the opportunity to ever take an adult writing class I’m so grateful for your blog and your inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed. I once had trouble writing a story because of this very thing. It’s all been done before. It took the pep talk from a good friend, also a writer, to help me out. She told me it’s not about writing something that has never been done before, it’s about taking the skeleton of what’s been done before and adding your own meat to it. Since then writing has been much easier for me. I no longer feel terrible for writing a story that resembles a million others, as long as I can freshen it up with my own words.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oooh this is going to be a hard one. I’m not good at writing stories but I had wanted to give it a try. This may just be the push that I need, thank you 🙂


      1. Oh I know, just seems like the prompt fits a story/fiction post well and since I had been thinking about writing a fiction post anyway I thought this prompt might just give me the inspiration I need to give it a try.


  5. In my dreams, I envision a place were I do not fear writing my thoughts about how Loneliness is an interesting feeling. Sadly this is not the place or at least I am not yet the right person.

    I would like to thank you as in my attempts to put something down I found myself inspired, and now have the subject for my next post “strength is knowing you weakness” which may seem unrelated as it came at the end of paragraph no one will get to read. (sorry and again thank you)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, I’m new to word press and I really want to share my story and participate in this week’s writing challenge and had a question for you! After I write my article do I have to tag my article as something? Or do I just write and post it! If you could help me out a wee bit here, it’d be great! I’d also like to mention what a great platform this is to just practice and improve your writing skills. Thank you 🙂


    1. You can tag your post with “dpchallenge” — then the post will appear on the appropriate tag page in the Reader ( where participants can sift through other submissions.

      Also be sure to include a link to this original challenge post somewhere in your own post (this is called a pingback). By doing this, your post will appear in the image thumbnail grid of pingbacks at the bottom of this post.

      Thanks for joining us!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Me and my weird reflections… I think it’s done, I hope you like it. I truly think this was a very good challenge, I enjoyed it a lot, basically as I normally use images as a garnment for my posts, not as an inspiration.
    If anyone wants to give it a read, I appreciate.


    1. Hi there — thanks for joining us, and welcome.

      The writing challenges are posted each Monday, and you can respond to it through the week. The challenge “closes” when the next one is published the following Monday. (But you are welcome to go at your own pace and respond at your leisure to any challenge/prompt we’ve done in the past — when I say “close,” it just means the comment threads close.)

      When you write a response to the challenge, just make sure you do two things:

      1) Tag your post with “dpchallenge” — then the post will appear on the appropriate tag page in the Reader ( where participants can sift through other submissions.

      2) Include a link to this original challenge post somewhere in your own post (this is called a pingback). By doing this, your post will appear in the image thumbnail grid of pingbacks at the bottom of this post.

      Thanks for joining us!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. @ywwp — you can use past prompts/writing challenges as inspiration for any new posts you write. If you tag it “dpchallenge,” it will appear in the tag page in the Reader, alongside the entries for the most current challenge.

        I don’t think you were implying this, but I’ll mention it anyway: it’s not worth tagging your older posts with the challenge tag — the tag page shows recently published posts first, so this isn’t a way to get your existing content in front of readers.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. there are always new stories. life is a big book of stories, just be interested in telling what you see, hear, observe, think, dream, comptemlate and so on and so forth. you will run out of time and papers telling them.


  9. This was indeed a challenge! Usually, once I read the prompts, the ideas start forming in my head. After that, it’s not much diffcult to write. But this needed some effort! Lovely idea! I hope I have done justice to it! 🙂


    1. Appreciate the critical feedback. I thought to try something different.

      I think it might be interesting to see what writers do with story elements that are fixed. When a writer has carte blanche — has the freedom to write anything they want — that’s one thing. But when you’re given certain restrictions, there’s space for creativity as well — incorporating an unchanging element, a fact, etc. into a piece. That’s basically what I was going for here, but I admit this prompt won’t be for everyone.


  10. Wow! I like this prompt, the crisp images with vibrant colors and varied types of space, and the fun opening lines! Will do this one. Thanks, Daily Post!


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