Author Toolbox – Writing Prompts

This post was written specifically for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop

You know what it’s like. You’re sitting there, pen in hand (or fingers on the keyboard, whatever your preferred method is) and a blank page in front of you. You have a bunch of ideas in your head but, for whatever reason, you’re just not putting any words together. So you end up staring at your page/screen and going nowhere.

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One thing that I’ve found to be very useful in situations like this are writing prompts and challenges.

Now, chances are whatever prompt you decide to try (and there really shouldn’t be any shortage of them; I’ll talk about where & how to find them below), it’s not immediately going to relate to whatever it was you initially wanted to write. That’s okay. Maybe switching gears a little will help you unlock whatever’s giving you pause. But if it is something you can work into what you were trying to write, then so much the better.

Ultimately (and this is only my opinion, of course), whether or not the prompts help with your main WIP in progress is beside the point. What they do, is get you writing something and, almost as importantly, encourages flexibility in your writing. And I think that is something that can only benefit you.

If you are wanting to try out some writing prompts, whether you think they’ll help you or just for the hell of it, then there’s a number of places you can find them. There are several posted daily on Twitter; usually just one or two word suggested themes. A quick way to help keep track of these would be to follow Free Writing Events who collects and posts the various hashtags along with assorted other information.

If you want something with a bit more to go on, then Writer’s Digest has a weekly prompt, as well as offering a collection available to download (signup to the newsletter required) and Reddit has a collection of suggestions. Aside from those, a simple Google search should turn up plenty of other options for you to choose from.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to continue working on the short story prompted by terribleminds.com‘s latest flash fiction challenge.

Don’t forget to look out for other #AuthorToolboxBlogHop articles. And happy writing.

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24 thoughts on “Author Toolbox – Writing Prompts

  1. Vanessa says:

    I love writing prompts, whether it’s a dialog prompt, photo prompt, or plot prompt. They help me get my creative juices flowing. If you look at some of my past blog posts you can see some of my favorite prompts.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. awshannonauthor says:

    Writing prompts have never been something I enjoyed, but then I never thought to use them to get me moving when I’m stuck. I usually daydream for that. I’ve always seen them as a distraction from my current WIP. Thanks for the perspective!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M. C. Frye says:

    I’ve always felt like writing prompts would be a distraction from what I”m ~supposed~ to be working on. I’m going to try and get out of that mindset during the next month. Thanks for this suggestion, and tips on where to find good prompts!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. raimeygallant says:

    That’s a great way to think about prompts. It’s not necessarily about your current project; it’s practice; it’s a way out of a writing slump. I love the Free Writing Events link and have it bookmarked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WriterDrew says:

      I found it a lot handier than searching for each individually or just scrolling through my feed to see random ones. Plus there’s also info about competitions, etc

      Like

  5. lyndleloo says:

    I’ve never tried a writing prompt because I couldn’t fit it into my current WIP, but now I’ve finished the second draft I need to practice more with flash fiction and keep my hand in, so writing prompts will be perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Caroliena Cabada says:

    Yes to writing prompts! I find myself either totally uninspired by prompts, or running with the seed of an idea until it’s a brand new story. However, I agree that much of the time, the purpose of a prompt is just to WRITE something. I’m making note of the prompt sources you’ve mentioned…

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mica Scotti Kole says:

    Thanks for posting about @writevent! It’s appreciated. Reedsy also offers weekly prompts, and when you submit stories to them, you have a chance of winning $50 each week. Not bad at all.

    Whenever I get in writer’s block on my WIP, I usually think of another scene in the future of my series that I’m actually excited about, and write it out. Half the battle is finding something you WANT to write about. After you write it, you’ll find yourself more inspired to write in general. You just gotta start however you can!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Katherine Barclay says:

    I go through phases where I’m a big fan of /r/WritingPrompts – when I feel like I can’t remember why I write, prompts are a useful way to remind myself by getting me interested in something completely random. Lately, I’m also enjoying https://www.reddit.com/r/MyWorldYourStory/ – writers either offer up worlds for people to drop characters into, or create characters to explore other writers’ worlds. Either way, it offers a chance to stretch some writing muscles when I think I’m stuck.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jerapub says:

    I like the writing prompts that show you a photograph and ask you to write an opening scene for a story based on the image. I was in a writing group that used to do that then we would read everyone’s result and see how many different stories can result from a single image.

    Liked by 1 person

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