Writing prompts–Where do they come from?

writing prompts circle cloud

  1. We saw no reason why he poured that stuff in the tank, but it seemed to work.

  2. “Quick. Tell me two good reasons why we should be together!”
    “Uhhh, two?”

  3. The 80’s came and went, but left this guy on our doorstep.

  4. “Right about now would be a good time to buck up and tell the truth.”

  5. We were ju-u-uust about there…

  6. “You really don’t see the problem here?”

  7. “Let’s get a little less selfish here.”

  8. In this case, patience would not be the solution.

  9. “Your behavior was more than a little provocative.”
    “You’re blaming me instead of the guy with the gun?”

  10. “You’re going to need someone to help you navigate these waters.”
    I smirked. “And I assume that someone is you.”

Where do these ideas come from?
Some of my sources…

  • Listening to [eavesdropping] on others’ conversation.
  • Reading novels.
  • Reading the newspapers.
  • Listening to TV dialogue.
  • Looking through lists of nouns and verbs.

 

For more ideas how these warmups might help…How to use writing prompts by Emily Wenstrom.

Writing prompt of the day: Time passages

Here’s a fun image that might spark a fun short story or some thoughts about ‘real life’.

surreal-time passing

Need some musical inspiration?

Try this. [I’m thinking you won’t need to listen to all 15 minutes. ;->]

Or this.

Or this.

Disclaimer: These suggestions are pertinent to the topic of time and do not necessarily reflect the tastes of the author of this post. [Unless, of course, you like the selections, in which case the author is a genius.]

 

Web Gems: A quick look at openculture.com

 

I’m sharing three highlights from openculture.com, a leading provider of open educational resources. More to come in the future.

1. http://www.openculture.com/ Scroll to Writing Tips in the inner right column. Guidance from the list of fair-to-middlin’ writers [;->] below is available.

  • Ernest Hemingway
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Stephen King
  • Ray Bradbury
  • William Zinsser
  • Kurt Vonnegut
  • Toni Morrison
  • Edgar Allan Poe
  • Margaret Atwood
  • David Ogilvy
  • John Steinbeck
  • Billy Wilder

2. http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses
There is a section on journalism and writing, including this
iTunes-based creative writing master class. I figure even if you drop in at your leisure, mug of coffee in hand…

  • No turning heads and ensuing glares from students or teacher. [Even your inevitable coffee spills will go unnoticed.]
  • Tons to learn in convenient time chunks.

3. http://www.openculture.com/free_ebooks
Ebooks from Neil Gaiman, Phillip Dick, David Foster Wallace, and John Muir, as well as some struggling amateurs ;-> like Faulkner, Fitzgerald, and Shakespeare. Also, consider scrolling down to the bottom to the ‘Assorted Texts’ section.

5 Twitter Gems

 

  1. Joanna Penn @thecreativepenn

Developing a powerful #writing habit buff.ly/2ra5I7g w/ @Honoree

  1. Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days…”

twitter-rubix cube

http://www.advicetowriters.com/home/2014/8/6/be-ruthless-about-protecting-writing-days.html

  1. MakeUseOf  @MakeUseOf

7 Free Windows Apps for Exploring Your Creative Side muo.co/2taPMAL

  1. Jon Winokur  @AdviceToWriters

Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.
–RALPH KEYES

  1. Mike Brown @Brainzooming

Has your stream of creative ideas dried up? Here’s the Answer! hubs.ly/H07C6xZ0

More takeaways from Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work

Opening comment: I hope readers gain even half the value as I do from writing this down freehand and rehashing/posting it.

But feel free to throw money, coffee, good pastries, or an ‘I adopted a shelter pet!’ certificate my way. [I’m a pretty simple guy, really.]

So, more takeaways from one of my daily go-to books for changing/reinforcing my thinking:  Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work:  **

Become a Documentarian of What You Do.  

“Whether you share it or not, documenting and recording
your process as you go alonreading-at-desk-1200g has its own rewards. You’ll start to see the work you’re doing more clearly and feel like you’re making progress.” [It’s what I’m trying to do at jrmays.com.]

 

Be an Amateur  

“Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results. They take chances, experiment, and follow their whims.” [I have a poster on my wall: If not now, when?  Works for me.]

“The world is changing at such a rapid rate, it’s turning us all into amateurs. Even for professionals, the best way to flourish is to retain an amateur’s spirit and embrace uncertainty and the unknown.”

Read Obituaries.

“Reading about people who are dead now and did things with their lives makes me want to get up and do something decent with mine.” [In his case, be a good dad and husband, create, curate, and share art and experience.]

He continues, “Take inspiration from the people who muddled through life before you–they all started out as amateurs, and they got where they were going by making do with what they were given and having the guts to put themselves out there. Follow their example.”

** Not aiming for anything –no commission, no pats on the back, no genuflections–other than to share good work by others.

Props Week, continued: Writing wisdom via Jordan Rosenfeld…

@Jordanrosenfeld

http://jordanrosenfeld.net/

Some of her gems include:

  • A fast draft gets it down, but it doesn’t finish it for you.
  • Reading is an aerobics class for your writer mind.
  • At the beginning, your character shouldn’t be too self-aware; leave room for growth.
  • Each scene should still have a goal for your protagonist—and readers are most interested in your protagonist.