Monday, December 3, 2012

Prompting Writing

Do you ever use writing prompts?

I haven't lately, but I'm thinking I should make more time to do so.

Why?

Because even though I stretch my writing muscles in one direction most every day, there are other muscles that could benefit from cross training.

Exposure to and the practice of different types of writing are good ways to grow as a writer. Besides, you never know what ideas might spring from a little writing exercise.

One of my favorite prompts is Hemingway's Challenge. If you aren't familiar with these six word stories, check out the details here.

Another favorite source of inspiration is The Writer's Idea Book by Jack Heffron. It's packed full of great writing prompts. If you'd like more info, click here for my review.

How do you stretch your writing muscles? Have any prompts to share?

Happy writing,

Karen 

P.S. If you happened to miss Thursday's post, we discussed the perfect blog spa. What's a blog spa? Check it out and see. I'm curious to see what you think! :)

Photo credit: Stock Exchange

23 comments :

  1. Never use prompts. Just thinking about doing them scares me. lol
    I'm not sure my muscles are ready for that. Let us know how you like it!

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  2. For sale, baby shoes. Never used. I remember. And what a great way to get the brain sharpened for writing. Love it!

    I'll check out the link, amigo. I hope your day is filled with words spilling onto the page. :-)

    (((hugs)))

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  3. Jessica,
    I think of them more because I'm always encouraging my students to do them. Plus I have to come up with examples for them sometimes. They're not hard, just make you think. And write! lol :)

    Robyn,
    I know, that one is classic! Just makes you wonder, you know? You are one smart cookie. :) Lots of words for you too today!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  4. I've never used prompts. They scare me, too. What if nothing comes to me?

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  5. Never use prompts... is that bad???
    But lately I have been collecting them from the web to use in a writing class I am planning to give here in Holland.

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  6. Diane,
    I probably should have clarified that - really there are no wrong prompt results. As far as I'm concerned it's just a way to make you think and write. And see, you already do cross training, with your fiction and non fiction pursuits! :)

    Marja,
    No it's not bad to not use prompts! As I mentioned to Diane, there really is no wrong result for a prompt. If you are thinking and writing, then I think it's a success! Best wishes with your class!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  7. It might take prompts to get me to think of another book to write.

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  8. I do use prompts, yes! They've been very helpful. "Creative Writing Prompts" is the one I've used so far, but I'm very interested in the book you mention. Very.

    Thanks for that. I'll write that down right now, Karen.

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  9. I haven't used writing prompts before, but I think they would be helpful. Sometimes when I'm stuck on my story, I write a scene (or several) ahead, and that gets me going again.

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  10. I don't use prompts. However, I can see the value in the exercise. Practice is important!

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  11. One exercise I learned from a book is the net. Draw a circle in the center and put one word in it. A noun works well. Draw a line from the word and do another word in a circle that is more specific. Draw another line from the original circle and fine tune that idea. Go on until you get many little ideas from one word.

    Oh, the six word story just about makes me cry. What a writer!

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  12. Alex,
    Now there's a good way to use a prompt! Even a snippet of an idea can emerge, can't it?

    Rhonda,
    Haven't heard of that one, but will have to check it out. I think anything different from our normal writing can be considered a prompt, you know? :)

    Cindy,
    You never know, you just might like them! As I mentioned to Rhonda, anything that is different from our usual, I'm thinking, is a good way to exercise those writing muscles. :)

    Laura,
    Practice IS important, and I think any writing we do that stretches us provides that. :)

    Nancy,
    I know, he was some writer! I like your idea, and I've seen it used for brainstorming for things like a research paper. Some call it clustering, but whatever you want to call it, it's a good one! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  13. I do like writing prompts! Not particularly to get new ideas, but just to exercise the right side of the brain a bit and loosen things up. A book of prompts I reach for occasionally is Monica Woods' "The Pocket Muse." A fun little book :-)

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  14. We do writing prompts in our writers workshop I'm involved it. They are so great for the imagination.

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  15. I haven't used prompts but I would be open to trying- I will attempt the Hemingway 6 word story and get back to you!
    Have a wonderful week!

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  16. I'm not into prompts generally, but I do try to read lots of different genres.

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  17. Kenda,
    Yes, exactly! Anything that gets us thinking a little differently is a good thing. Will have to check out that "Muse". Thanks for the tip!

    Lydia,
    I know, and there's no one right way to do them! :)

    Janet,
    Let me know how that goes! Most of all, relax and just let thinking and creativity happen. :)

    Talli,
    Now there's another good point. I think we can stretch and grow as writers in so many ways! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  18. I have a sick husband and a sick cat, so I'm bookmarking this for later. You're such a great source of fascinating material, Karen. Thanks!

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  19. Hi karen, I was stuck in a scene last week. So I did what I've read on the internet before (maybe even here)... I opened the dictionary to a random page and looked up the tenth word. That word was 'laden'. I continued writing the scene, using that word as a prompt and somehow... it came alive to me again and I was able to steam ahead. It's not the first time I've used this game for a writing prompt. And now, I'm a fan. :)

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  20. Writing prompts and timers work best for me. Trying to pull something outa thin air does not ;)

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  21. Hi, Karen:

    Yes, I am familiar with Hemmingway's Challenge, but not with Jack Heffron's book. Thanks for the tip. ;-)

    I just commented on your post about I Love to Write Day over at Carol's. Isn't that a cool holiday? Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

    Enjoy your week!

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  22. I like writing prompts. It's more of a challenge and gets me to focus. Writing works best when it's an opportunity to solve a problem. :)

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  23. Joylene,
    Hope hubby and kitty are feeling better! Hope you are taking good care of yourself too. Thanks so much for your support and kind words! :)

    Dottie,
    That's a wonderful story! Glad you shared it with us and it worked for you. I need to try that soon. :) Hugs to you!

    Lynda,
    Good point about the timers. They can "prompt" a lot just b/c of the deadline factor. Lest anyone be discouraged and think they can't come up with something, it's good to remember that there are no right or wrong answers. Just write!

    Janette,
    You are welcome! Thanks so much for stopping over at Carol's. Much appreciated, friend! :)

    David,
    I know, they help me focus too. They also force me to try different ways to write and think. Problem solving - that's a good way to look at it!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!