Ten Writing Prompts for Feb. 17

notebook entitied 'write ideas'
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

  1. “Ready? Now close your eyes and count back from twenty…”

  2. They had everything and we had nothing…

  3. We never expected our innocent little lemonade stand to…

  4. It was pure joy/boredom/hate/love at first sight…

  5. Title: Night of the Zombies


  6. Title: Donald Trump Meets Forrest Gump

  7. My cruel words hung in the air…


  8. He had bit the hand that fed him…


  9. Luckily, Superman does exist…

  10. “Okay, soldiers/kids/Mr. President, pat your head and rub your stomach…”


How about a PDF of 200 writing prompts?
I’m not even going to ask for an email address!

Curation Corner: Writing With Continual Direction

magnifying glass held over printed textThis quote from William Zinsser [On Writing Well is his best-known work.] takes an opposite tack to yesterday’s Writing With No Direction post.

Writing is linear and sequential; Sentence B must follow Sentence A, and Sentence C must follow Sentence B, and eventually you get to Sentence Z. The hard part of writing isn’t the writing; it’s the thinking. You can solve most of your writing problems if you stop after every sentence and ask: What does the reader need to know next?

WILLIAM ZINSSER

Curated from my daily email from Jon Winokur’s  https://advicetowriters.com/

Curation Corner: And then there’s this on revising…

Image by Anne Karakash from Pixabay

The ordinary writer is bound to be assailed by insecurities as he writes. Is the sentence he has just created a sensible one? Is it expressed as well as it might be? Would it sound better if it were written differently? The ordinary writer is therefore always revising, always chopping and changing, always trying on different ways of expressing himself, and, for all I know, never being entirely satisfied.
–ISAAC ASIMOV

from Jon Winokur’s Advice to Writers


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Curation Corner: The Traffic Light Revision Technique

It’s easy to urge each other to crank out ideas and imagery.
Countless articles and posts urge us to dive in and heat up that pen or keyboard.
But what about those next steps, where the real work kicks in?
Copyblogger editor-in-chief Stefanie Flaxman’s Traffic Light Revision Technique weaves much-needed, but often elusive, objectivity into her approach to revision/editing.

Let’s boil it down:

  1. Read over your material in a word processing document. [‘Document 1’] Color-code your sentences–green for ‘okay with me’, yellow for ‘needs some work’, red for ‘needs complete overhaul’. [Note: Use your own file-naming strategies.]
  2. Save ‘Document 1’, without any further tinkering.
  3. Create a copy of ‘Document 1’ [‘File’, ‘Save as…’], complete with the colored highlights. Name it ‘Document 2’.
  4. Edit Document 2, recoloring your sentences green when satisfied with the work they’re doing.
  5. Proofread your work [aloud is always a good idea] with the following question as your beacon:

“Do these words clearly communicate my true intent
and give my audience a cohesive presentation?”

There you go! You can now send your work on to the Pulitzer Prize committee.

Suggestion: Schedule a 15-minute visit to Copyblogger.You’re sure to leave with useful, shareable content.


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Curation Corner: Writers, don’t panic!

girl hugging bear gratisography-401H

I recently signed up for daily delivery of Jon Winokur’s Advice to Writers, so I’m essentially curating his own curation. Today’s advice comes from Australian writer [and then some] Clive James

“The only thing I’ve got better at as the years have gone by is I’ve grown more resigned to the fact that it comes hard. You realize that hesitation and frustration and waiting are part of the process, and you don’t panic. I get a lot better at not panicking. I get up every morning early if it’s a writing day and I will do nothing else but write that day. But the secret is not to panic if it doesn’t come.”

And whoa, what a wealth of resources you will find at advicetowriters.com.

and much more under the ‘Resources’ tab.

Enjoy.

Chime in below with your own favorite writing website.

 

An Austin Kleon writing strategy: Keep dumb thoughts.

Austin Kleon encourages us to be attentive and diligent in writing down all our thoughts and sift through them for later exploration.

How about ratcheting up your powers of attentiveness?

Here are a few ideas from Cris Freese in this Writer’s Digest article.

Reminder: Simply restricting one or more of the five senses will heighten the others. [Try closing your eyes while eating. You will most likely hear your chewing more distinctly and I’ve found more flavors are pronounced. But hey, maybe that’s just me. But really, try it.]

Fellow writers…don’t do what I did.

Get your writing done first because it’s not easy to crank up the momentum and confidence needed to fill your pages.
After breakfast, I launched into decluttering…even before shaving and cleaning up. Not only did I feel grungy [counterproductive in its own right]

  • A. I wasn’t writing.
  • B. I was wasting that precious morning buzz [i.e. creative energy] on sifting through and boxing ‘stuff’.
  • C. I didn’t crank out that initial ‘first 100 words’ on paper, a practice I started when I homed in on mindfully ‘showing up’ to my creative projects.
  • D. I was getting annoyed by A. and B and C.

Luckily, choosing to reconnect with a former student and a former teaching colleague, I did get my keyboarding fingers moving and real words [with value, even!] danced across the screen. AND I’ve even resisted the urge to turn on the AFC Championship game. AND I’ve chosen to not answer a text message till today’s words are done. [Thank you, thank you. You can stop rolling your eyes now.]

So, I guess the lesson for today is: Don’t give up hope. You can rise above all kinds of obstacles, even the self-imposed ones, and move forward with your projects.

NOTE: If your word processor offers the ‘Focus’ feature that displays just your text–no distracting menus, programs running in the background–give it a try.