Prompts for Creative Writing

Prompts are used by many creative writers to generate new content. Prompts can be a challenge. For instance, creating a story using one syllable words or writing an alphabet story in which the first sentence starts with the letter A, the subsequent B, and so on, or themes from poems, or journals.

If when writing you feel that you do not have material, move to another of your senses (sound, smell, sight, taste, touch); or shift your viewpoint from high to low, from far away to close; or consider the five questions- what, who, why, when, where.

Creative writing practices, like any type of warm-up routine before playing musical instrument or a sport, help to loosen up imagination while improving your writing skills. The aim of the following prompts is to create lively and clear writing that uses well-chosen verbs, precise nouns and specific images.

The Prompts:

  • Describe a “first” (first kiss, first lie, first time driving a car, first apartment, or first big success). Include as many details as you can, ensuring to put an aspect involving each of the five senses.
  • Describe an unforgettable event, negative or positive, and how it made you feel; however, do not name the feeling. Just tell how you felt in your body (metallic taste, wobbly knees, damp hands, etc.)
  • Create stories using one-syllable words only, starting with a phrase like: “The last time I saw her, she…” and “The one thing I know for sure…”
  • Describe an important place, permitting the details to disclose why the place is significant. Describe it from a rooftop, a tree, or a hawk’s point of view.
  • Describe a noteworthy person (neighbour, teacher, coach, parent, sibling, sweetheart, or mentor) with as many physical details as possible. Avoid clichés!
  • Write about your name- why you were given that name, what stories or associations are linked to it, what you think it means. Given the opportunity, what name would you give yourself?
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