Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

Illustration by Ana Hinojosa.

This is such a classic prompt that it is almost cliché, but it is also a lot of fun. You are going to take two people (or more if you want!), get them stuck in an elevator together, and show us what happens! I (Stephanie) had a creative writing teacher who had us do this with either our protagonist and antagonist in a story, our love interests, or two characters that we hadn’t put together at all. So if you are writing a short story, novel, or screenplay—anything with ongoing characters, you might try that. However, there are PLENTY of other options. For example, I’m a total soap opera nerd, and several years ago, ABC did a series of webisodes where characters from soaps like All My Children, General Hospital, and One Life to Live were put into random scenarios together and one of those was, yup, you guessed it, the classic stuck-in-an-elevator situation. So you can take characters from your favorite shows or books and see how they interact. Or bring some celebrities into the mix. You are also welcome to make yourself a character. What if you were stuck in the elevator with your favorite artist, your jerk history teacher, or your biggest crush?

And there is more to consider: How would your characters react to being stuck? In the aforementioned soap crossover elevator encounter, one of the characters is a tough mob boss…who has claustrophobia. So we get to see an unexpected side of that character. Also think about why the elevator stuck? Run-of-the-mill mechanical probs, or is there a disaster like an earthquake, fire, or maybe even the zombie apocalypse?

Have fun coming up with your most interesting elevator encounter and express it however you express it best—prose, poetry, comics, photos, painting…you name it! Then send it to us, along with your first name, last initial, age, and city/state to [email protected] with the subject line “Creative Prompt” by Monday, May 9 at 6 PM EST.

Last week we asked you to design your dream house. Here’s what life is like in your new places…