What do you think about, writing prompts?

Love or hate them?

Me, I’m on the fence.

I use them to jump-start my writing. But rarely for my WIP.

Writing a short 100-500 words helps me get my thoughts churning and I think brings my characters out of hiding. Maybe they get jealous my thoughts are elsewhere.

So today I participated in one from The Daily Post. Hope you enjoy.

The DailyPost Aug 4, 2016  DAILY PROMPT  Craving

She stared as he walked from the car. Her hands gripped the open door, knuckles white with restraint. Breathe she reminded herself to just breathe. In a few seconds, he would be within her grasp. Her tongue traced and moistened her dry red lips.

At last, the tall drink of water she’d been waiting for reached her front door.

“Hi,” she said.

He acknowledged her whispered greeting with a nod as he followed her into room 117. She closed the door against the hot afternoon sun and the reality of the seedy motel. The where didn’t matter as long as they were together.

Still practicing my craft with a prompt or two.

How do you practice? 

4 thoughts on “What do you think about, writing prompts?

  1. I use the prompts at Today’s Author, that is when I find one that’s inspiring. I use them for posts in my blog. Am I a great fan of them? No. I’d rather do a scene summary, a setting sketch, or a character sketch and develop from that.

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  2. If you look at my writing blog, http://johnswriting.com, nearly all of it comes from writing prompts. There are writing prompts and writing prompts. The ones I get are from a small writing group and may not be typical of the kind that come from online or other sources that are very directed–a small scene with a character and you’re asked to write something about it. The ones from my writing group are most often lines of poetry and sometimes prose from which we write whatever we think. Some of the time, what most of us see moves us not all or is inexplicable. Hence, sometimes my written response uses only the title–like two recent short posts on my blog that came from an excerpt from Murakami’s “Kafka on the Shore,” and another from Roethke’s “The Light Breather.” I don’t use these directly in WIP but in a number of cases I expect that the very short pieces that appear on the blog will later be incorporated into WIP in the form of scenes, character sketches, background or backstory, etc. Some will form the basis of short stories. So yes, I do like writing prompts. Maybe I should go in search of more of them outside the group. In the 2 hour meetings, we generally do 4 prompts and 4-6 people is the typical number attending (there have been as many as 10) so we write for 10-15 minutes and then share what we came up with. It works well for stimulating the creative urge and composing salient stuff quickly.

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