Prompt Your Writing!

Writing prompts are awesome. It’s easy to look at a finished book and forget all of the work that went into it; easy to imagine that the it sprang fully formed from the author’s forehead. But when we wait for a bestselling idea to elbow its way into our heads and demand to be written, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We’re going to be waiting for a long time. And in the meantime, not a single word gets written.

But the simple act of seeking out a prompt gets your brain thinking in a new way. It introduces new ideas and has the ability to surprise ideas out of you that you never would have come up with otherwise.

There are countless blogs out there providing weekly or daily writing prompts and a quick google search will turn up tons of stuff. The Daily Post always has excellent ideas.

But traditional prompts can get old; so to inspire creativity, here are some ideas of places to look for your own writing prompts.

Craigslist

This is probably my favorite place to look for prompts because with pages for nearly every city in the world, the ideas are almost limitless. Look under missed connections and write a scene based on the place where the missed connection took place. Or write a character sketch based on the person who posted the ad, or the person the ad is about. Try writing the encounter as though they hadn’t missed the connection and see where that takes you.

Or click on literally anything else on the main page, find a post with an interesting title, and just start writing.

Someone’s selling a ten-year old toaster? Where did that toaster come from? Where has it been? Where is it going?

Don’t think too hard, just pick a post and start writing. If you get stuck, click on something else!

Coffee House

Find a warm, cozy place with steam on the windows and big fluffy armchairs.

Okay it doesn’t have to be exactly like that. But there should have some close together tables.

Grab yourself a drink and a comfy seat. Pull out a laptop or a piece of paper and start writing. A good place to start is description; pick a person and start writing.

Another fun thing to do at a coffee shop is to listen for snippets of conversation, write down an interesting sentence and go from there.

Eavesdropping on people can get weird if you let it. Just don’t be creepy and it will be fine.

The Newspaper

This one’s easy. Take a headline and (without reading the article at all) write the story that goes with it. This is a pretty popular one in writing classes, for good reason.

 

Where do you look for writing prompts?

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