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01 April 2011 @ 09:19 pm
I'm the sort of writer that needs a first sentence in my head to kickstart everything. So I like to keep a list of writing prompts laying around, like the "opening lines" section of this one: http://www.gkbledsoe.com/articles/process/prompts.html

I also like to keep http://futureisfiction.com/plotpoint/index.cgi open, for giggles.

It can be tricky to find the sort of prompt I'm looking for, though. As you can see from the first link, a lot of writing prompts are "Write about how you felt when..." and "Write a story that goes with this picture" and such.

Do any of you have writing prompts that you keep nearby? What about favourite plot or character generators?
Solacetheformofstars on April 2nd, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC)
I do music or poetry prompts. I have them all saved in my Google Docs organized by author/artist and go and poke them. I also have Five Things prompts saved for when I'm in the right mood for those and a few other different kinds as well.
PaintedTeacherLadydivinitus on April 2nd, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
I've never really tried Google Docs - may I ask the benefit of using this is?
Solacetheformofstars on April 2nd, 2011 10:11 pm (UTC)
My computers have a habit of crashing a lot, so it's a safe place for me to store my writing. Besides that, it's useful for when you are the type of person who does writing on multiple computers and doesn't want the hassle of a flash drive.
PaintedTeacherLadydivinitus on April 3rd, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Ah! I thought it must have been this. Hmm - it might be nice to start utilizing this feature. :) Thanks for sharing!
PaintedTeacherLadydivinitus on April 2nd, 2011 09:43 pm (UTC)
While teaching I used a prompt with my students - as a class they had to choose three nouns (person, place and thing), three verbs, and three adjectives (sometimes we play on a letter theme). They had to write a short story with these in mind.

The other prompt we do is a picture prompt. I often showed them various pictures - could be a landscape (scary haunted house, example) and they would practice writing an description paragraph. Or, I would leave them with a quotation, and they would have to work it into a dialogue paragraph, etc.

A fun one I tried was writing the last paragraph of a story and they had to write the beginning and middle to make it all work.


LOVE the sites you shared, btw!!!
in_excelsis_deain_excelsis_dea on April 3rd, 2011 09:15 pm (UTC)
I love 31_days. Once a day passes, the prompt can't be posted (except on amnesty day), but going through the prompt lists can be very inspiring, even if you can't post it to the comm.
lyracooper on April 11th, 2011 02:16 pm (UTC)
I feel like good prompts really depend on who's writing them. I'm fortunate enough to have a brilliant friend whose prompts always spark my interest. They're usually just phrases I intergrate into my writing -- "It collided with Spain." "I lost it, just not here." "There was a fire, but she had more important things to worry about." Stuff like that.
I AM THE LIZARD KING. I CAN DO ANYTHING.mekthehatter on April 11th, 2011 02:17 pm (UTC)
I'm of the mind that gold can be found in anything if you frame it right. One of my favourite writing exercises was to take an over-used trope or cliche and then try to make it interesting again.

Your friend sounds useful!
lyracooper on April 11th, 2011 02:26 pm (UTC)
This is true. To be able to take a mediocre prompt and make something fantastic is harder than taking an interesting one and weaving a story around it.

I'm afraid I'm a bit too attached to subverting tropes to try playing them straight. It's a trend in my writing that can become a fault. I think the closest I've ever come is a series of vignettes about a three-way poly couple with several romance tropes played straight.

How do you feel about one word prompts?
I AM THE LIZARD KING. I CAN DO ANYTHING.mekthehatter on April 11th, 2011 02:32 pm (UTC)
I have an unhealthy love of cliches -- my first drafts are riddled with them and it really breaks my heart sometimes to have to cut them out.

I haven't used one-word-prompts all that often, so don't have too much of an opinion on them. They never spark an immediate "Oh, I could do this with that" reaction, so I tend to just skip over them.