Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Five Writing Prompts to Give Your Imagination a Kick in the Pants

Sticking with the theme of imagination this week, I want to talk about ideas and my idea file. That's where I keep all my ideas, obviously! There's almost always a random, stray topic in that file, but I don't always want to write what's there. It doesn't inspire me.

When I'm uninspired by my idea file, I have to find the inspiration someplace else. Writer's often call this type of thing writer's block. Basically, they're uninspired. The uninspired writer stares at the blank page, and the blank page stares back. Finally, it begins to mock them. They become frustrated. It's a cycle. You're bleh about writing, nothing resonates, the blank page mocks you, which makes you bleh about writing. (Yes. Bleh is a real word. I don't care what the red squiggle says!) I don't have the perfect solution for all writers. I only have the solution that works for me.

Word Prompts!

I have a few places that I routinely read word prompts, but I thought it would be fun to come up with my own. All word prompts are just a collection of words or ideas in one place that spur your imagination. It helps your mind make connections it wouldn't normally make.

Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
Stephen King, On Writing

I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, and whether you like his writing or not, you can't deny the fact that he's a writer with important things to say about the process. I love what he says here about ideas flying at you out of an empty sky. It's about letting yourself be open to ideas that might not make sense at first, but how you shouldn't dismiss them.

5 Writing Prompts

1. You're so fatigued that you're laying on the couch unable to move. There's a knock at the door. You yell to the visitor to come in.
**What happens next?**

2. The woman next door comes over for coffee every single day uninvited. Because you're such a nice neighbor, you don't complain even when she constantly interrupts. Until one day...
**Talk about what happens next on that fateful day.**

3. At the library, an old man sits in the corner reading the paper. The librarian never sees him arrive and never sees him leave.
**How does he get to and from the library without being seen?**

4. At a bus stop, an elderly woman sees a teenager being bullied.
**What does she say to the teenager?**

5. After a painful break-up, you learn that the love of your life has been searching for you.
**Write about how you respond.**

If you started writing your ideas on Monday, I'd love to hear some of the wacky ideas you've written down. You can be as specific or vague as you like when you share. What about dreams?

I'm going to take a prompt, too. I'll post it on Friday.

P. S. I was going to put a linky link share box here, but it hates me. Feel free to share your writing on Friday in the comments when I share mine. Or write it on your blog and share your link in my comments here. 


  1. Great prompts! I'm not really sure if I'm any good at writing fiction, but it wouldn't hurt to try!

    1. It definitely couldn't hurt. Even if you only do it for yourself, it could be fun to try. Maybe there's a hidden talent there!

  2. I love writing prompts! (go ahead and call me crazy). It gets me thinking and the creative juices flowing. I'll see if I can get one in by Friday. I've been working on hops and catching up on comments this week. Fun, Fun!

    1. I would never call someone crazy for loving prompts! Insanity. Come back and share yours. I'd love to see it!

  3. Okay. I did it. I feel like hiding now.

    1. I've had such a rough day. I could use a pick-me-up. I'm rushing to your blog right now to read and comment!