I’m delighted to welcome writers from the wonderful site Writer’s Relief to the blog today. They are sharing excellent tips about making best use of writing prompts – something that’s very close to my heart, particularly since I began sharing the #BlogFlashDaily writing prompts on weekdays. I hope you’ll find these tips useful and if you have any to add, please do share them in comments. Happy writing!
5 Strategies You Can Use To Get The Most Out Of A Writing Prompt
by Writer’s Relief Staff
Thanks to fantastic author and bibliophile Terri Giuliano Long for hosting us today! We’re Writer’s Relief, an author’s submission service that helps creative writers submit their work to the best-matched literary journals and literary agents. We also make it our business to help writers do what they do best: write! And we get lots of questions from puzzled authors who are unsure of how to use writing prompts. Writing prompts (especially the great ones Terri posts on weekdays) are hugely helpful to writers. We’re here to tell you how!
Finish this sentence: The last time I used a writing prompt was…
Like many writers, you probably haven’t thought about writing prompts since the last time you attended an English class. But writing prompts can be a great way for new writers—and even seasoned writers—to think outside the box, break through writer’s block, or get back into their writing groove after taking a hiatus.
Here Are 5 Ways To Use Writing Prompts To Your Advantage:
Finish the prompt…then make a scene!
Complete the sentence or answer the prompt question, and then keep writing! Instead of just writing a phrase or a few lines, carry the idea forward. What’s happening in this scene? And what’s next? Developing a whole story from the original writing prompt will help sharpen your plot-writing skills.
Use one writing prompt to get many different results.
Choose one writing prompt and create a story. Then, challenge your inner muse by using the same writing prompt to inspire an entirely different story! You can also try using it to write a poem or an essay (or multiple poems and essays). This technique of reusing one prompt to write several pieces is particularly useful for writers interested in creating a collection of short stories or poetry featuring the same theme.
Mix and match random words.
This exercise is one of the best for boosting creativity. Imagine grabbing single words out of a large hat and including them all in a single story. You can find lists of random words on websites like this one, or you can make your own list by flipping through a book or magazine. Remember that even though the words are randomly selected, your writing must be cohesive!
Tackle several different prompts at once.
Using a number of writing prompts, one after the other, can help you really flex your writing muscles and even break through writer’s block. Once you’ve gained momentum with one prompt, then two, and so on, you’ll find it easier to generate new writing based on the various prompts. Then you can return to your novel, story, or poem feeling revitalized, motivated, and full of new ideas.
Apply the prompts to your current project.
If you’re feeling stuck and aren’t making any progress with your current project, why not select a writing prompt and apply it to your characters? Whether or not you actually end up using what you’ve written in your finished piece, you’ll get to know your character better.