At any rate, Arnzen carried that tradition on to his own students at SHU. Here are some examples of his horror-themed prompts (from the Dark Valentines edition of prompts on his website)
- Depict the Grim Reaper delivering a Valentine's gift to the type of person he or she most "loves" to kill.
- Dramatize a blind date between demons from very different sides of Hell.
- Describe the various sensations associated with eating a heart in loving detail. This is your opening paragraph.
- Delineate the crime scene in a holiday card shop during Valentine's season.
- Compose a love letter to an imprisoned serial killer, from an unexpected author.
- Make a list of all the (one-word) sins you can think of. Choose your favorite. Your title is "[Sin]: A Love Story".
- Portray Cupid as the monster baby he really is.
Arnzen has come out with a collection of his creative prompts called: Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side. I love the idea of genre-themed prompts. And while some of them may seem trite or silly, if you find yourself staring blankly at your monitor or legal pad, one of these prompts may be just the thing to give your a muse a gentle nudge in the right direction.
You should check out his blog on gorelets.com. He's got some interesting stuff on there!