Friday, March 28, 2014
Spring Writing Prompts
How do you feel about writing prompts? They intimidate some writers and engage others. Still others have never tried them.
I think there's a common misconception about prompts - that when you use one, it has to be just so. Unless it's an assignment for a class or for a specific project, I say there are no rules. Just an opportunity to write and perhaps build better writing habits.
Prompts help stretch writing muscles in other directions. For example, I don't write poetry. Writing it never appealed to me, so I don't include it in my lineup. But when tutoring a young student required writing limericks, I found the exercise stretched me. And that was a good thing. Writing practice (of any type) can produce growth and generate interesting ideas for other projects too.
One of the simplest prompts is a sentence. It acts as a brainstorming tool, a story starter, headline, or a hook to draw the reader in.
She should have listened to her grandmother.
He stared at the marigolds in the garden.
"How much is a pint of strawberries?"
One of my favorite prompts is Hemingway's Challenge. Someone challenged Hemingway to write a six word story. This is what he wrote:
For sale, baby shoes. Never used.
Not only does this illustrate the six word story concept, it provides great word economy practice.
Want to try a few more? Check out these links:
Writer's Digest Prompts
Daily Blog Tips
This Friday post is part of the Blogtastic weekend event from my publisher, Helping Hands Press. Hop over to their Facebook page for more posts from the HHP authors.
Have you ever used writing prompts? How do you stretch your writing muscles?
P.S. I'm sharing tips for writing poetry with kids over at Carol J. Alexander's Homestead blog. Hop over if you are so inclined!
Photo credit: Stock Exchange