Saturday, March 13, 2010

Writing Prompts

I have been searching the web, in vain, to find good prompts. All that I ever seem to come across are things like "Write about the smell of cookies" or "what is your earliest memory?" Those seem to do no "prompting" of any sort, and I always quit in frustration.

I have recently found, bought, and fallen in love with a new book. It looks little, but its full of gold.

The Writer's Book of Matches:
1,001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction

by the staff of fresh boiled peanuts

This book is full of writing prompts to help pull out your inner stories. And for the first time in a long time, I feel inspired. Even just reading the introduction and the "How to Use this Book" is entertaining, enlightening, and makes you want to wiggle your fingers and create. I would fully quote every page, but that would take too long. My advice? If you want prompts and encouragement, GO GET THIS BOOK.

It is so true what they say in it: " of the most difficult things for a writer to do is actually sit down and write." Their suggestion? Write every single day. No exceptions. No excuses. Try to write at least 500 words a day, and before you know it you will fall into that writing habit and your day will not be complete until you have created. So, I have come to a conclusion. I must do that. Taking a break between long cramming sessions of working on my book, to use a prompt and spit out something totally unrelated sounds like a good idea. Hopefully I will stick to this. Hopefully I won't fall back into my always recurring habit of forgetting to do it for weeks at an end, then apologizing and writing for a day or two...then falling away again.

Here is my question. Anyone out there care to join me? Read what I do write? Tell me what you think? Yell at me when you notice I have fallen back off my personal bandwagon? More so...write from the prompts yourself and share them? Just post them as a comment to my own, and we can all dive into our own literary world. Its just a thought.

Ok, so here are the rules and guidelines:

1. Write every single day
2. Try to write at least 500 words
3. Actually write. Don't just spit out words to count the day.
4. Work my way through the 1,001 prompts in this book sitting in front of me
5. No excuses. No "writer's block." Nothing but writing

Here are the three different types of prompts in the book. I will post the prompts icon next to the new prompt for the day, then post what I wrote.

Situation Prompt
This prompt lays out the protagonist who finds him/herself in some sort of situation.

Dialogue Prompt
This, obviously, will be a quote of some sort. You have to create the story from just the quote.

Assignment Prompt
This prompt will typically lay out three characters who share a certain context. You have to create a situation or conflict for each character. Try for at least a page a character, but don't punish yourself if you can't get that much

The prompts are just there to ignite a thought. If the prompt somehow gives you an idea for something totally unrelated, write it. All this is here for is to get us out of our locked up heads and back onto paper where we all long to be. Don't look for perfection. Don't stress. Just let the stories flow. I hope this helps to lead to something great.


Anna R. said...

I've also fallen in love with this book. It's great for warming up, or for generating ideas for larger projects.