These 31 writing prompts were originally posted on my social media pages as a month-long writing challenge. If you'd like to rise to that challenge, do one everyday for a month and see your writing come alive. They can also be used on their own as the mood or need strikes you. Above all, have fun!
Set a timer for 10 minutes, write the prompt at the top of your page and keep writing until your timer rings. No stopping, no thinking, just let it flow. There, you wrote today. Maybe you kept on writing after the timer rang, maybe you stopped, it doesn’t matter…you wrote today. Keep it up. Be willing to begin again and again.
What better way to get in touch with your character than by getting into his skin? Think of all the varieties of pain, irritation, abrasion; all the textures of lick, pat, wipe, fondle, knead; all the prickling, bruising, tingling, scratching, banging, fumbling, kissing, and nudging a character might feel.
One of the most amazing aspects of the senses is how they span time. Our senses connect us intimately to the past in a way our ideas cannot, and the sense that does this more powerfully than any other is the sense of smell. A scent, regardless of how unexpected or fleeting, can open the floodgates of memory.
The sense of sight is probably the sense we use most often in writing, and if you’ve ever tried to describe something without referring to sight you’ll know just how challenging that is to accomplish. Perhaps this is because 70% of the body’s sense receptors cluster in the eyes, and it is mainly through seeing the world that we appraise and understand it.
Like pure emotions, music surges and sighs, rampages or grows quiet, and, in that sense, it behaves so much like our emotions that it seems often to mirror them. Isn’t this what we are striving for when we tell our writing student’s, show don’t tell? How can we use not only music, but sound in general, other than dialogue, to enhance our writing and flesh out our characters?
We see, not with the eye but with the brain. Think of a remembered scene from days or even years ago. We view it in our mind’s eye in great detail. And even better for the writer, we can picture completely imagined events. We see the embroidery on the bodice of her celadon dress, the glint of a knife as it moves in a murderous arc, a tearful reflection in a mirror.
One of the first things I talk about in my retreats is our tendency to compare ourselves with others, often to our detriment. Comparison keeps us separate; it keeps us less than or better than. Although healthy competition exists in Nature, it doesn't help us as women or as writers. I ask you to think about this for the next few prompts.
Thank you for taking this writing journey with me. I'd like to leave you with this final thought. The older we get the more we say no. We are so used to saying no that we don’t realize we are saying it. We often say no to new and different because it’s scary and confusing not because its bad. Be mindful of your yes/no ratio. Resist the urge to say "Yes, but..." and try saying "Yes, and..." for a while. You'll be amazed at the places you go. You might even join me in Tuscany!