Here are writing prompts that end the world: Name that virus. I know it's specific. It grew from one prompts, and I wanted to stay on topic. We will be working to turn all our single writing prompts into a nice long list of prompts, so some will be pretty specific. I honestly have so much need for writing prompts in my writing (1 give one everyday) that it's hard not to just … [Read more...] about Creative Writing Prompt: Writing Prompts that end the world: Name that Virus
Writing Prompts are the anomaly of the writing world. When first faced with the idea of a writing prompt, many writers turn their noses up at them. The writer feels they can make it without the gimmick or doesn’t need help. Raymond Carver once wrote, “Writing is hard, and writers need help.” Prompts are kind of like that. Once the writer runs into their first snag, they look for a solution. Sometimes you need a little help, and writing prompts can help if you open yourself up to possibilities. There is also the situation where people don’t want to write or feel they can’t write, like high school students, and these writing prompts are also for them.
It’s hard to tell, though, which writing prompts will help and which prompts will fizzle. I give prompts to my writers every day. I have given and received writing prompts for 25 years in workshops, courses, and writer’s groups. I’ve found a few characteristics that a good writing prompt needs to reach down into the writer and get them writing. Here are ten things to look for when you are looking for a good prompt.
1. The prompt has the right tone and voice. You can’t have a horror prompt that sounds like a joke. You can’t have a romance prompt that lectures. The technique of the prompt is essential. You are probably on the right track if the prompt matches the tone.
2. The prompt is high interest. Boring prompts are the worst. You can tell when the instructor, prof. Or the workshop leader just didn’t put any time into the prompt—Frost’s “No tears in the writer…” quote. If a prompt doesn’t move you or get you excited to write, it will not inspire anyone else to write.
3. Cliché prompts, much like needing to be high interest, a prompt needs to be original. If you make a prompt the exact old same, I think it makes it harder to create. For instance, write a prompt about being a rebel. I was given this prompt in a workshop one time. I can’t take watching a tv show I don’t like; there is no way I will be able to hold my interest through writing a boring story cliché story. It’s just not going to happen.
4. Story starters can be inspiring. I’ve found that prompts that write the first paragraph or a couple of sections of a story seem to inspire me to write if they are done well. Suppose the first paragraph of writing is excellent if it has a good tone. If writing is exciting and pulls me in, I want to write like that. I think it’s like a writer. Generally, we want to be writers because of something we read. When I read something extraordinary, it makes me want to write.
5. Oddly, the more moving parts, the better. Prompts are the opposite of excellent writing in many cases. The more complicated they are, the more they get me thinking and writing. They need good descriptions to get me pointed in the right direction. It’s a little hard to explain, but examples might help:
Example 1: Write about two characters who meet and fall in love.
Example 2: Write about two characters in a hurricane who meet and fall in love as the eye of the storm passes above them.
The first one, I’ve got nothing. I’m moving on. The second example gives me enough to want to try it. It presents me with an exciting idea.
6. An element of writing involves the best prompts I have ever written. I have written several goods (later published) short stories based on prompts. Both of those prompts had story elements involved—the best way to write a story where there is a juxtaposition between 2 characters and their situations. I wrote a story about an agoraphobia falling in love with an exhibitionist at a meteor show. I love that story. A writing prompt with a literary element explicitly stated generally inspires the writer in me. It seems like a challenge.
We may add more pointers in the future. For now, these six will get you started. We also have a wide range of writing prompts here on the site. The writing prompts below are for many different kinds of writers in different situations. Writing prompts could be fun if you left them. We will post a new one every week! We want you to have fun with these! So enjoy and keep writing!
Free Writing, and How it Helps You Write Better
Stories only happen to people who can tell them. - Lou Willett Stanek Being a writer (a blogger, a copywriter, an academic writer, a poet – choose the right variant), you've heard about the phenomenon of free writing probably, even if you never used it yourself. Chances are, however, that you practice free writing quite often to deal with your writer's block for example, but … [Read more...] about Free Writing, and How it Helps You Write Better
Writing Prompt: Vampire’s Someone to Love
You are vampire, female or male, and while you need food, you have found that you need love more. At this point in your 500 years you have only been in love once. You realize that through that loss you have been damaged so badly that you have never been able to look at the humans as any more than food. Now, you want a lover. You want to whisk someone away. You have money and … [Read more...] about Writing Prompt: Vampire’s Someone to Love
Horror Prompt: Hammer it home to this end
Write this prompt in the first person limited. You come home from a night with friends. You are alone, and you go into your apartment. You are do not have a family. You hear something in the other room, and you go to investigate. When you walk into your bedroom someone hits you on the head with a ball peen hammer. You fall to the ground, he hits you several more time. In … [Read more...] about Horror Prompt: Hammer it home to this end
1000 Writing Prompts
Please! Help! So I am writing this post of 1000 writing prompts. It might be a little misleading because I have no where near 1000 prompts. What I am doing is asking you to help, please. I will add to this post every day or so, and I would really like it if you added prompts too. If you enter a prompt in the writing section I will add it to the list. We will work together to … [Read more...] about 1000 Writing Prompts
Writing Prompt 6: Man in Your Backseat
Writing Prompt 6: Man in Your Backseat This is a classic horror writing prompt. I'm sure you've heard this story or seen a version of it on television. I think the idea is overdone, but it got that way because it is such a seductive situation for a writer. Its suspense is inherit. I think the fact that it is overdone pushes you to do better, so there are multiple reasons to … [Read more...] about Writing Prompt 6: Man in Your Backseat
Writing Prompt 5: Some in in the House (we will publish your story)
This is the oh my god don't go in there, I'm so stupid for doing this writing prompt. Inspired by all those horror movies where you think the main character is stupid for doing what they are doing. Generally you disagree so much you are yelling at the screen.... If they are so smart, let's see how easy they are to write..... [color-box]Someone is in the house You are … [Read more...] about Writing Prompt 5: Some in in the House (we will publish your story)
Creative Writing Prompt 4: Let him go alone writing prompt
Let Him Go Alone I have children, and writing prompts with children in them tend to creep me out enough to get me writing. I find that just being on the edge of thinking about my child being in danger in a story, is just scary, unnerving, and I think it pushes me. This writing prompt is one of those prompts that I didn't want to write. I mean I used this prompt to write a … [Read more...] about Creative Writing Prompt 4: Let him go alone writing prompt
Writing Prompts for High School Students
Making a list of Writing Prompts for High School Students is easy for me, I have taught high school students for around 15 years. Well, it's easy today when I'm out of the fog of teaching. Sometimes I can't think of a single one of these. These are writing prompts that I have found high school students love to write about. They are my favorite prompts, and I use them … [Read more...] about Writing Prompts for High School Students