Current works and upcoming books by Dana Littlejohn
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Thursday Tips: Writing Prompts
Hello everyone! Welcome back to another Thursday tip day! Today I'm wondering if you've ever use writing prompts? If you’re a fiction writer, you may want to consider using writing prompts to kick-start your creativity. A writing prompt is simply a topic around which you start jotting down ideas. The prompt could be a single word, a short phrase, a complete paragraph or even a picture, with the idea being to give you something to focus upon as you write. You may just come up with rough, disjointed notes or you may end up with something more polished and complete, a scene or even a complete story. The point is to simply start writing without being held back by any inhibitions or doubts. Here are 5 good reasons for writing to prompts :
Sometimes it’s hard to start writing when faced with a blank page.Focusing on an unrelated prompt for a while helps get the creative juices flowing. If you write for just ten minutes on a prompt, you should then find it easier to return to the piece you intended to write. You may also find that if you stop trying to think so hard about what you wanted to write and switch you attention to the prompt instead, the words and ideas for your original piece start to come to you after all.
The things you write in response to a prompt may also end up as worthwhile material in their own right. The prompt may give you ideas from which a complete story grows or you may get fresh ideas for another piece you are already working on. It’s often surprising how much material you come up with once you start.
Writing to a prompt regularly helps to get you into the habit of writing. This can act as a sort of exercise regime, helping to build up your “muscles” so that you start to find it easier and easier to write for longer and longer.
Prompts can be a great way to get involved in a writing community. Sometimes writing groups offer a prompt for everyone to write about, with the intention being for everyone to come up with something they can then share. This can be a source of great encouragement, although knowing that others will read what you have written can also inhibit your creativity.
Writing prompts help break up writers block. When your muse has stopped hounding you to write their story, prompts free your mind and give you something else to focus on.
The following are twenty writing prompts that you could use to spark your imagination. If you want to use one, don’t worry about where the ideas take you or whether what you’ve written is “good”. The point is just to get into the flow of writing. You can come back later and polish if you wish to.
It was the first snowfall of the year.
He hadn’t seen her since the day they left high school.
She studied her face in the mirror.
They came back every year to lay flowers at the spot.
The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?
This time her boss had gone too far.
Stars blazed in the night sky.
He woke to birdsong.
‘Shh! Hear that?’ ‘I didn’t hear anything.’
He’d always hated speaking in public.
She woke, shivering, in the dark of the night.
The garden was overgrown now.
He’d never noticed a door there before.
She’d have to hitch a ride home.
‘I told him not to come back!’
His feet were already numb. He should have listened.
The shoes were still in the window calling out to her as she passed by.
He was back in the same booth, the same time as yesterday waiting for his coffee.
She stood against the door, heart pounding, hands trembling, praying he didn't see here come into the room.
The room was quiet save the soft ragged breaths she took.