Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Return of Writing Prompts

When my writing group was meeting on Wednesdays (I miss you all, by the way, wherever you are), I created writing prompts each week to give everyone a warm-up exercise.

~What’s your favorite food?
~At the top of the stairs…

The goal was to spark an idea that could be used in any way: poetry, fiction, memoir, or essay, and it didn't matter how tangential the piece might be to the actual subject or question in the prompt. Crossing out was strongly discouraged and no dictionaries were allowed. We took ten or fifteen minutes to craft our impromptu pieces. Sometimes we came up with gems, and sometimes we wrote clunkers.

~Describe your first car.
~Combine a bowl, a lamp, and a dog toy in a story/poem.

Writers are often dismissive about prompts since no writer has a shortage of ideas. I think of prompts as an exercise, or something akin to Suduko for people who like to write.

What do you think you could do with one of the prompts above? All were popular with my group.

My first car was a Ford Granada that looked a lot like the one in the picture above. Photo courtesy of Dave_7.

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