Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Just for Fun: Writing Prompts

Writing prompts are for when you need a new beginning right? Sure. But they are also for when you're knee deep in a story but need to reconnect with your characters. In fact, as I discovered with a little web surfing for writing prompts, they're much more versatile than I expected and can be customized to fit every stage of writing. Whether stuck in writer's block or just need a routine of daily warm-ups, dare I say it, there's a writing prompt for that.

Finding the right one can feel kind like being Goldilocks looking for the "just right." And when you know what you want, usually you find every thing opposite first! For instance, yesterday I wanted specific writing prompts to get me reaquainted with my current characters after an absence. Eventually I found a couple of ideas.

These are from Eliza's Writing Jug,

#39. You have a most unexpected visit. The good guy and the bad guy in your story come to visit. Neither is pleased with the role you have given them. Put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine what they would have to say. Try to convince them you made the best choice for them.

#41. Write an interview with your [favorite] character.

Are these too broad in scope or not really seem like writing prompts at all? Maybe but that's the thing about writing prompts; they are meant to fit what need, when you need it. Sometimes you don't even know what that is until you come across it.
A couple others instantly intrigue me:
#19. Ghosts in a bottle. (How could I resist that one?)
#35. Answer this question: What is life all about? (Just kidding. I can't tackle that one!)

Other interesting sites for writing prompts include these:

Speaking of short prompts, I came across an outdated Writer's Digest Prompt contest with the three words: "lucky" "charmed" and "calamity."
Wouldn't you know it, those three words took me down a path that had nothing to do with my current stories. You know how it goes!
What kind of writing prompts do you enjoy? Does it depend on your needs? Any favorites?


  1. Wow, I had no idea there would be so many writing prompt places. I'll have to check them out. (And my apologies for not showing up here sooner -- my reader isn't automatically updating my feeds for some reason, so I didn't know there was something new. Grr.)

    I don't often do writing prompts, but I like anything that gets my brain fired up. The writing prompt I did last fall, with the puppy and the ball, turned into a novella that I just finished. So clearly that writing prompt was useful!

  2. Hi Donna! Oh, I remember the puppy and the ball writing prompt -- it also gave me a good story start. :) How cool that that one turned into your novella!

    Yes, there are a lot of writing prompt places out there. With my sporatic writing schedule, I think writing prompts are like some much needed oil for my rusty creative writing muscles. LOL

  3. That puppy is a busy one -- I'm glad he gave you a good story start too. :)

    How is school going? More importantly, when do you get another break? :)

  4. Donna, the good news is I am currently on my break and finished the semester this week! Grades look good! Bad news is I've got a nasty cold but I "timed" it for after finals. Wasn't that clever of me? LOL


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