Writing Prompts

I lead a writing workshop today, in which we discussed some of our sources for inspiration as well as exchanged ideas and tips related to overcoming writer’s block.  I also distributed a list of writing prompt exercises, to help get the creative juices flowing.  There are many fantastic writing exercise resources available online.  You can also try selecting a book at random from your shelf, open it to any page, and choose a line from the book as a prompt.  Here are the prompts that I used in today’s workshop:

a.       My Mother’s house (This week’s creativity contest prompt from the Creative Construction blog – http://creativeconstruction.wordpress.com)


b.      You and a friend are having a meal at a restaurant, but things take a turn when you notice that the waiter has scribbled an unexpected – and startling – message on your bill.  Write this scene.  (From Writer’s Digest’s online writing prompts – http://www.writersdigest.com/WritingPrompts)


c.       You’ve just had one of the most grueling days of your life when you stumble upon a wishing well.  While you don’t typically believe in such things, you need a pick-me-up, so you toss a penny down the well and make a wish.  Lo and behold, it comes true.  (From Writer’s Digest’s online writing prompts – http://www.writersdigest.com/WritingPrompts)


d.      Write an American Sentence, which is similar to a haiku in the fact that it has 17 syllables total, but it is not broken up into three lines. It is a poetic sentence that captures the shadow of a moment.  (From Allen Ginsberg’s American Sentences)


e.      Choose a song title and use it as a theme for, title of, or line from a scene.  (From the Writing Companion blog – http://writingcompanion.wordpress.com)


f.        Far away, in the dripping woods, something bright and fiery flickered among the trees.  (From Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett)


g.       Strictly speaking, for a human being, there is no other practice than this practice; there is no other way of life than this way of life.  (From Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind  by Shunryu Suzuki)


One comment

  1. Nice prompts. Strictly speaking, of course, Haiku are just one long line too. At least, that’s the case in the original Japanese. The 5-7-5 thing is just an English language convention.


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