Dec 11, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

10 Reasons Why You Should Use Writing Prompts

Perhaps the last time you encountered a writing prompt was while you attended school and now the last thing you want to do is think about is facing another one. While many people consider prompts as a form of torture that school teachers use on their unwilling students, yet prompts are often willingly used, even embraced, by experienced writers. If you do not see how writing prompts can be useful to you then consider these the following benefits.

Practice Makes Perfect

Well, maybe perfection will never be in your writing future, but it is very true that regular practice is the only way to improve your work. While you may have a long list of ideas and projects to work on you may also want to employ prompts from time to time to fill in the gaps in your writing schedule.

Blast Writer’s Block

When you are experiencing writer’s block with your current project then force yourself to write through it with a series of prompts. This technique can be a very effective way to tear down your writer’s block.

Jog your brain

Do you have trouble getting your brain started in the morning or after a break? Then a writing prompt may be just what you need to get your brain going again.

Inspire your creativity

Do you feel your writing is going stale? Do you need some inspiration? Then using prompts can make a huge difference in your creativity and overall work.

Widen your horizons

Many times we fall into a niche, or even a rut, and forget that there is a much bigger world out there. Writing prompts can force us out of our respective ruts and challenge us to look further afield. This stretching can greatly improve your writing.

Improve your vision

Sometimes we get so caught up in our inner landscape we forget to look at the world around us for inspiration and fodder for our work. Writing prompts often force us to look at the world, specific aspects we may ignore every day, and perhaps look at something in a whole new way.

Make you question

Writing prompts make us look at our writing, our lives, and our world and question what we say, think, and write about — and the why behind those answers. Why and what if are two of the most powerful and inspirational questions a writer can ask of themselves as well as their audience.

Help you learn more about yourself

Writing prompts challenge you to formulate answers and positions on a wide variety of issues and questions. Some you may have thought about a great deal before and others that have not made it on your radar before.

Help you learn more about your writing

Early on in our writing careers and experience we often make judgements about our ability and work. While these may or may not have been accurate at the time, they certainly do not hold true in the long run. Every day, week, month and year that you work on your craft you improve as a writer. And as you grow older and mature, then your thought process will change — and those changes will also reflect in your writing. Prompts may help you more honestly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.

Create your own swipe file

While you may not see a way to use the responses to your writing prompts today you may well find a market or use for those ideas and words down the road. Sometimes a description might come in handy or a character analysis, and other times simply reviewing some of your past work may well help you overcome writer’s block and inspire a new idea. While the use of prompts is never a waste of time, even if you never reuse a single word, you might be surprised down the road at how many different uses you can put this material to in your professional writing.

As you can see, the use of writing prompts can be tremendously useful no matter what stage your writing career is currently. You may find them so helpful and inspiring that you find yourself using a prompt every day.

Dec 11, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Creative Writing Prompts – 5 Ways To Give Your Creative Writing A New Lease Of Life

Does your creative writing feel a little predictable and samey lately? Do you find you always fall back to the same kind of words and phrases, the same kind of ideas?

A fantastic tool for giving your creative writing a new lease of life are creative writing prompts.

Here are 5 ways they can give your writing the boost it needs:

1. A new starting place gives a new perspective. When you write beginning from somewhere completely new, you can’t help but have a different outlook to the ones you’re familiar with. This fresh perspective encourages you to write with different eyes, in a way you may not have thought of before.

2. You can focus your energy on your writing, not on struggling for ideas. If you feel short of ideas then much of your creative energy seems to get sucked away desperately trying to find something interesting to write about. Creative writing prompts give you that different starting point so you can use your energy to focus on writing, not fretting about a lack of ideas.

3. You’re more free to experiment. Writing on your own it’s all too easy to stick to safe and trusted methods, even if it does mean you write virtually the same poem or story over and over again. Just by using writing prompts you’re giving your creativity the green light, saying “I’m trying something new here, go with it and let’s see what we can come up with.” And you’re creativity will be happy to oblige.

4. You write more, so you evolve more. You can write a short piece using a writing prompt in 5 or 10 minutes. With each new work, you’ve become a little more experienced, confident and flexible as a writer. This allows you to evolve more quickly meaning all of your writing benefits from a new depth of richness.

5. You put the fun back in writing. If you’ve been stuck in your writing lately, you’ll have realised it’s not much fun. Painful, more like. With writing prompts, you take off this pressure and instead begin with the attitude of enjoying your writing, experimenting and seeing where it leads. This new energy then spills over and enhances all your writing.

These are 5 great ways you can use creative writing prompts to give your writing a fresh injection of energy and start seeing more of your writing potential come to the fore.

Dec 11, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Creative Writing – The Way To Success

Sometimes a word, a piece of art, a dream, will spark inspiration in you. All things can serve as great creative writing prompts. The most magnificent story can evolve from the smallest or most mundane detail. Anything that sparks the desire in you to write can be considered a writing prompt. Some writers have a sentence or word come to them from nowhere, and out of that a story is born. If you use the world around you, anything can be a creative writing prompt.

The need for finding aids to creative writing often comes from having writers block. If coming up with your own prompts has become difficult, don’t worry. There are literally heaps of prompts out there. You just need to find the best ones for you. Take the Internet, for instance. Do a search for creative writing prompts. You will find pages and pages of story starters right at your leisure.

You have many options available while searching for prompts. From starters of one or two words to a brief synopsis of an idea, they are available to you. Some sites offer daily prompts. They will even email them to you. There are many books available with nothing but lists of prompts just waiting to be turned into magnificent stories from your mind.

There are a lot of writers who feel that using lists of fixed prompts by someone else is cheating. They feel that all prompts used must be their own. But truth be told, there is not a creative writing prompt that has not been written about. It is the creation that comes after the prompt that makes the writing your own. The prompt is not what your creative writing is all about, but a jumping-off point line for your imagination. It is merely what opens the gate to your imagination, to your passion, and to your thoughts.

Gazing at a blank page is unlikely to produce any inspiration. In fact, it will frustrate you much faster. There is so much beauty in the mundane details of life that you will probably have better luck taking a short walk outside. Observe your surroundings: take in the sights, sounds, and smells. If a detail sticks out to you, try to imagine the story behind it. A smell or sound might trigger a memory or a character that has been hiding in your mind. Memories can be great prompts. Try to think through some simple memories, a chaotic trip to the grocery store, the first time you rode a bike. There could be a story within them. Make sure you have a notebook with you! These inspirations can leave you as quickly as they show up. It’s important to write them down before they’re gone forever.

Many writers only use creative aids for writing from outside sources. They are given to them by editors and publishers telling the writer what they want them to write about. Some writers work more efficiently this way, being given the idea and running with it. Others prefer using their own. Creative writing prompts not only help initiate ideas, they also help spark your memory for you to write about your own past experiences and adventures. You can use them for writings on your website or blog.

A story can evolve from a word that came to you suddenly or from a painting you saw in a gallery. Whether the prompt came from your own mind or an outside source, it doesn’t affect the integrity of the story itself. Either way, you are the one who dreamt up the details of the story, the prompt is nothing more than a jumping off point.

Dec 11, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Finding Prompts to Inspire Your Stories

Sometimes a story idea just hits a writer. An idea pops into your mind and you are off and writing. Other times, you are not so lucky. You sit at your desk and wonder what you will write today.

On days when the ideas just will not come, I like to use writing prompts to get my creative juices flowing. I find writing prompts to be inspirational. Many of my stories and poems came from something I have heard or read recently. Prompts are a wonderful way to jump start your writing. You may be wondering where you can find your own muse-inspiring writing prompts in the real-world.

1. Writing prompts in literature. Take any book off of your shelf. Flip through it and stop at a random page. Close your eyes and put your finger anywhere on the page. Use the line just above your finger to start your story. You can use this method with almost any kind of book, even non-fiction. Another suggestion for finding inspiring sentences is to keep a notebook and pen with you while you read. If you find a line that catches your eye, write it in your notebook. When stuck during your writing session, flip through your notebook for inspiring lines.

2. Writing prompts from real-life conversations. This is another great place to find a writing prompts. Everywhere you go, there are people talking. Start listening to what they say, and how they say it. Write down snippets of conversation to use later for inspiration. Listen for the dialect and personality. You can learn a lot about someone by the way they use their words. Remember, writers are observers, so go and observe.

3. Television and movies are a great place to find inspiration. Now, I am not suggesting you copy what you see on the big, or little, screen. But you can get great ideas from watching them. It could be a character or a line that makes you run to find your pad of paper and pencil. Either way, you are writing. Another neat writing trick is to watch a TV show you do not normally view and turn off the sound. Make up the story based on the actor’s body language and movements. You will be amazed at what you come up with.

4. Signs, flyers, and other things you see along the way are also great sources for inspiration. How about that odd band name plastered all over town. Or the new coffee shop with a unique business name. Even that weird street sign you drive by everyday could lead to a story; you just have to give it a chance.

5. When all else fails, buy a book of writing prompts. There are so many wonderful books out there filled to the brim with inspiring words and lines. You can even find ones dedicated to your specific genre of choice.

Inspiration is everywhere you look, even in the most mundane and unimaginative places. All it takes to find these tidbits of creativity is to pay attention to your surroundings. Do this, and you will never run out of things to write about.

Nov 10, 2014 - Uncategorized    Comments Off

Writing Prompts To Overcome Writer’s Block Considered – Case Study

Not long ago, I had joined a local writing group in our area. Each week the group gets together and to help the members improve their writing. Some of those in attendance are poets, novelists, short story authors, and even article writers like me. To help everyone get over writer’s block they start the meeting with a writer’s prompt and ask everyone to get busy writing. Let me explain how this works using this is a case study. Below is a recent writer’s prompt which was used by our group. They borrow this writer’s prompt from a major writer’s magazine;

“There’s a knock on your door. When you open it, you find a cowboy-complete with the hat, boots, spurs, six-shooter, the accent, everything-standing on your front step. He claims he has no idea who he is or what he’s doing there. Write this scene, as you try to sort out his (and your) confusion.”

And here is what I wrote;

The man had been sent from the past where he had left in 1814. He would land in the future at the exact time and place and elevation of where he had left. Unfortunately that mountain where he had departed from the past to the future had been dug away for a six lane freeway and so he reappeared up in the air and he fell 50 feet but to his lucky landed in the back of a Yantas dealer truck filled with used tires which was stuck in traffic on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles. After he fell onto the tires he bounced and hit his head on the side of the truck and then plunked onto the freeway. Scared out of his which he drew his gun.

No one really noticed because they were busy text messaging while they were all in bumper-to-bumper stuck in traffic. Eventually a few people noticed and started honking their horns. He got scared and ran between the cars jumped the center divider and then up the hillside he went, climbing and scaling up the embankment, put there at great expense to the tax payers to add lanes and protect the vital corridor from erosion. He was able to get away just before the channel 5 news helicopter came forth and he knocked on my door so I hid him from police to figure out what happened. He still couldn’t remember everything due to amnesia, with a bump on his head to prove, but he told me he liked the future.

He particularly likes Pop Tarts and my Jacuzzi oh and now he is a brand loyalist of BMW and Nike, luckily for me he also likes Starbucks coffee but he thinks Facebook is a bunch of hooey. He decided he wants to stay and now we’ve found some more friends of mine to give that star on his chest another try. It turns out the star he is wearing has a button on it which helps him do time travel. Our group wants to travel in time and is thinking the year 2214 could be a lot of fun. What will the future bring?

– — — –

Perhaps you can see from this case study that using such writer prompts can be a lot of fun. In our group each member is allowed between five and 10 minutes to come up with some sort of scene or story to go with the writer’s prompt. And then we read them aloud. It helps unite the group, and it is fun to see all the creative flow, and even better to see people enjoy what they’re doing; writing.