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?
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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.