We all need writing prompts to kick our storytelling into gear from time-to-time. Last week I shared a few tips to BEAT WRITER’S BLOCK, and this post is a nice addition to your storytelling arsenal. After all, writing is a wonderful craft, but it sure does test your patience every now and again.
I can’t say I use writing prompts all of the time, but when my storytelling begins to suffer, I like to escape a project and dive head first into something new. For instance, I’m currently writing my latest novel, I UNLOVE YOU, and although it’s a story I can’t wait to share with the world, it’s been an arduous process so far.
At times, I’ve had to escape this book, and allow my creative juices to roam free. Whether this involves a short story, a blog post, non-fiction, writing from a different character’s POV, testing my arm at poetry, or doing something new that my storytelling mind has never tried before, I’m a firm believer in running away 🙂
Oh yes, sometimes we need to battle through those long writing sessions where nothing comes to mind, but if this becomes a regular occurrence, I say RUN. Run to a different project. Run towards a new story. Hell, take an actual run 🙂
Of course, these writing prompts are for your general storytelling needs. Maybe you’re in search of inspiration for a short story or a new novel. Maybe you’re new to writing, and wish to practice your craft. But maybe, just maybe, you’re like me, and you need to kick your storytelling up the butt, and regain those writing sessions that whoooooosh past.
Peace on planet Earth? Hmmm, maybe not, but peace on Turndog’s Earth? Heck Yeah!
WRITING PROMPTS FOR STORYTELLING MISFITS
An ex partner of yours walks into a coffee shop, but they’ve yet to see you. You’re sat with your favourite coffee and a good book, but you can no longer focus. “Should I say hello?” you ask yourself, and if so, what the hell do you say to someone you haven’t seen for five years, and whose heart your broke the last time you did.
Pick three objects closest to you, and write a 500 word short story about them from the point of view of an alien. You’ve never seen these objects before, don’t know their names, and everything about everything is a complete mystery (Think the whale scene in The Hitchhiker’s Guide The Galaxy 🙂
You’re sent back in time to save the human race from extinction (After Google and Walmart joined forces to create a world ending super power), but before you do, you write your young self a letter, warning him/her about a life changing situation that occurs in a few days time. You have one chance to make your younger version believe you, so DO NOT waste it 😉
You wake up on a strange bathroom floor, the last few days a drunken haze. Scared, worried, and hungover beyond belief, you try paste the bits and pieces together, and figure out why (and when) you have a butterfly tattoo on your forearm.
Choose a name, a city, and an item of clothing, and write a short story that centres around all three. THEN, ensure the story ends up at a museum, in front of a pelican skeleton.
In third person POV, write a scene set in a busy pub/bar. Skipping from one group of friends to another, describe the atmosphere and overall setting. ALSO, a character named Rodrigo must walk through the door in dramatic fashion.
You’re stood in a long line of people, as the President/Queen walks down shaking hands and saying hello. A dream come true, you regret your final cup of coffee, because now you need the toilet and can’t think of anything else. Describe the feelings in your head, and the ultimate moment when the President/Queen reaches you.
You’ve just been shot in the stomach, and you don’t understand how or why. You’re afraid this might be it, and that you’ll never say goodbye to the person you love.
You’re an eight-year-old girl, and it’s Christmas Eve. Last week your older sister said Santa wasn’t real, and you’re not sure what to think. Excited about the morning and the many presents that await, you hope behind all hope he’s real, and that your sister is simply an evil bitch.
You’re the first man/woman on Mars, and it’s your job to describe what you see, and how it makes you feel. All of mankind relies on you, as the video feed went down during landing.
Your name is Florence and you enjoy cheese… A LOT
Using the words: HICCUP, BENCH & RATCHET, write a love scene featuring two strangers who spot each other across a crowded beach in Sydney, Australia.
You’re a rookie Quarterback in the final two minutes of this year’s biggest game. You’re five points down and the season rests on your shoulders.
From the point of view of the serial killer, you’re in hiding after nearly getting caught by a detective – moments after killing your latest victim.
You’ve just found a peculiar looking device in your pocket, and you have no idea how it got there. You have a strange feeling someone’s watching you, and you’re unsure what to do next.
The year is 1793 and your horse just died… and your stranded miles from civilisation… and you have a brutal stomachache
List the fist ten adjectives that come to mind, and write a letter to Bruce Willis explaining you’re his biggest fan. All ten adjectives NEED to be mentioned at least twice each.
Alone in the middle of the woods – surrounded by nothing and nobody – you gaze up to the stars and imagine what your future holds.
In under 250 words, describe a defining moment in your life, and how it’s made you a better person.
Write a twitter conversation between two best friends. Each message must be under 140 characters, and tension builds as the tweets stack up.
HERE’S TO KICK-ASS STORYTELLING
There are lots of writing prompts on the web, and whether or not my own offerings help you and your storytelling ways, I hope you leave inspired to write.
I love working on a novel, and adore grand non-fiction projects. However, sometimes I need to escape, and whether this is through a short story or article or blog post, freeing my mind does wonders for the bigger picture. After all, we don’t write with a single book in mind. We write because writing offers something nothing else can.
Sometimes big projects can sap our passion and storytelling gift, and this is a damn crime. I say, write for the sake of it from time-to-time, and use writing prompts like the above to kick your creative juices into full flow. Personally, I find writing on the spot like this invigorating.
So, here’s to your storytelling. Here’s to writing prompts that help us beat writer’s block fin to the ground (not that I believe writer’s block exists!). Here’s to you, and please, reach out to me on FACEBOOK or TWITTER, and share your favourite writing prompt with me.
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