Sunday, June 30, 2013

More Writing Prompts

It has been quite a while since I offered a list of writing prompts.
My daughter and I have done some work with gratitude journals lately and doing that work always makes me want to give her other writing work.  Her work is good and she enjoys the fiction she writes.  (She can be found on some fanfic sites.)  I got to thinking about how helpful lists of writing prompts are when sitting down with a blank piece of paper, so I'm offering this to you.

If you are working with a group of kids in a writing group OR if you are a writer yourself, please feel free to use my list freely. These are more than just "describe your favorite dream" or "what is your favorite vacation" but, instead are designed to increase the use of analogy, metaphor, skillful language, and creative wording.

  • Think of a dialogue you have heard recently.  (either in real life or on the screen)  Recreate that dialogue with your own personal twist.
  • Look at a thing in the room in which you sit.  Describe in as creatively as possible without mentioning what it is.  Think of creative uses for that object.
  • Write a letter to Ten-Years-From-Now you.  Remind yourself of bits of knowledge that mean something to you now that you don't want to forget.
  • Pick an issue that you are passionate about.  Write an argument on the other side of fence.  For example, if you are a fan of science fiction, write against it.  If you are a blogger, write about a person who does not value blogging.  If you are a homeschooler, write against the lifestyle.  If you are into homeopathy, write against it.  Etc.
  • Imagine you are invisible.  Walk through a location of your choice and describe what you see, hear, experience.  Experience the walk through all five senses.
  • Imagine yourself walking through a door that has a huge metal key that unlocks it.  Describe the turning of the key and the passing through the doorway experience.  What do you find on the other side of the door?
  • Imagine yourself having a conversation with a hero of yours.  Make sure their responses are human and wise.
  • Write a list of things that mean "springtime" to you.
  • Describe Green without mentioning color.  Use other senses.  Avoid well known phrases.  (Cool as a cucumber)
  • Make a list of fifty uses for a spoon.

  • Put yourself into a situation that is personally uncomfortable to you.  (speaking to a stranger, being up high, tripping in public.)  Describe your thought process.  Then describe how those around you experience you in that moment.
  • Write a scene in which a character is experiencing fear.  Describe their bodily sensations more than their thoughts.
  • Choose a word about an emotion or verb.  (excited, remember, special) and write a poem using the first letter of the word for the first line, etc...
  • Write ten questions that you hope someone will ask you one day.
  • Describe one of your parents by comparing them to inanimate objects.  (She is as comfortable as a rocking chair.)
  • Imagine a personality trait that you dislike.  Now imagine having that personality trait and how that trait serves you.  Describe the gains of that trait.
  • Imagine you are a visitor in your own home or town.  Describe it as an outsider might, noticing details and unique things.  Ask questions.  (I wonder who made that thing on the wall and why they used so much black.)
  • You are a shoe.  Describe your day.  Describe the feeling of a step, a leap, standing, walking on soft things, hard things, being under the chair)
  • Write a scene where two characters are saying good bye to one another.  Use as many nonverbal cues of separation as possible.  (He closed his book and put it into his backpack...)
  • Sit in a place that you never sit.  Under the table, outdoors on the corner, in a coffee shop.  Write at least fifty observations made from that location.  Remember to use all sensory awareness.  (smell of the coffee, feeling of the fireplace, sound of newspapers being folded...)
  • Find a random vintage photograph online.  Create a story around the people or situations in the image.  Create a dialogue if people are in the image.  Create movement if no people appear in the image.
  • Create a fictional conversation between one of your parents and one of their friends when they were children.
  • Write at least two paragraphs using all of these words/phrases:  delinquent, middle of the month, salubrious, scalding, and unbridled.
  • Timed:  In three minutes, write as many things as you can think of that one might say when opening up a gift.
  • Imagine someone is reading your diary or journal over your shoulder.  Describe the feelings you have in your body and the thoughts you have in your head.
  • Using a mirror, look directly into your own eyes for at least two minutes.  Be aware of your thoughts and feelings and experiences.  Write them down.

  • Now, look into the eyes of another person for two minutes.  Do the same.
  • Imagine going to the hospital because you are feeling very weird.  The doctors keep doing one test after another.  They they surprise you with the strangest discovery!  What is it and what do you do about it?
  • You receive a mysterious letter from a stranger.  The letter is over a hundred years old and is addressed to you.  Describe the letter, the material that it is written on, the method of delivery.  What does the letter say?
  • Image you are walking down a busy city street when a man in front of you drops his satchel.  You stop to help him pick up his things.  Freeze that scene.  What is he carrying?  What does his voice sound like?  What does his mood appear to be?  Describe him.  What smells do you notice?  What does his satchel look like?
  • Describe yourself by looking through your parent's eyes or the eyes of someone who loves you or thinks well of you.  What stories would they tell?  What adjectives would they use?  What would they find important to include in the description?
  • Now describe yourself by looking through the eyes of a real or imagined person of someone who does not think well of you.  What stories would they tell?  What adjectives would they use?  What would they find important to include in the description?

If you have any other original writing prompts, please pass them along!
I find that coming up with original writing prompts is just as creative as doing the prompts themselves!  LOL

WELCOME to my readers in Australia!

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:  Homeschool Teen Writing Prompts 2
Or you may enjoy reading:  Dear Reader
Or try this one:  Don't Kill the Writer


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