Writing, promotion, tips, and opinion. Pour a cuppa your favorite poison and join in.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Writing Prompts

Sorry this one’s going up so late at night!

I want to share writing prompts this week.  And judging from Liz’s recent posts, I think this might be helpful for some of you.  In all honesty, when I first started planning to share writing prompts, I wasn’t thinking about writer’s block.  I should have.  Why?  Because taking the pressure off by finding some writing prompt—be it dark and grisly or fun and silly—has often saved a story of my own.

Usually when we talk about writer’s block, it’s actually limited to the story at hand, the current WIP.  True writer’s block, the kind where the creative juices are no longer flowing and the well has practically dried up, is pretty rare.  Yes, it does happen and the poor author in question can’t write anything at all.  But that’s usually not the case…thank heavens!  Usually writer’s block happens in relation to our current work.  It’s an awful feeling, when that fertile valley our imagination used to live in has turned into a barren wasteland.  If you haven’t experienced it yet, just give it time because you likely will at some point.  If you never experience it, count yourself among the very blessed few.

What causes writer’s block?  Well, that varies from writer to writer, and there’s no one definitive cause.  If we knew what caused it, they could likely find a cure or treatment for it to make it go away easily.  Unfortunately, we don’t know.  For some authors, it could simply be the normal stresses that come from life.  Marital or family difficulties, new marriages (whether the author’s or someone else’s who is close to them, especially their children’s), births, deaths, stress over bills…the list could go on and on.  Sometimes it’s doubt in their capabilities of telling the story they want to tell.  Or worrying that there won’t be anyone who will want to read said story when it’s completed.  No matter what the cause, there are various ways to try to break through that wall that’s suddenly sprung up between the author and their work.  Some authors have found relaxation techniques work for them.  For others it might be making hard decisions in their personal lives.  Sometimes the solution is as simple as examining their life, pinpointing a stressor and removing or finding a way to cope with that stressor.  And for some, writing about something else can knock things loose.

Originally, I had just intended these prompts to be fun exercises.  I thought it would be interesting to see what each of you would come up with if you chose to work with the same prompt.  If the response is large enough, I thought about sharing some of those stories in my next week of posting.  I hope you’ll choose to participate, whether you’re facing the dreaded writer’s block or not, and even if you don’t decide to share your story.  Have fun, and get to writing!

If you decide to participate and would like to share your stories with me, please send it in an email to unicornbellsubmissions (at) gmail.com.  Put Unicorn Bell Story Prompt in the subject line and tell me which prompt you used.

Disclaimer:  I found most of these prompts on Pinterest, where I pinned them to my writing board and have them on my computer for my own use.  I have included the information pertaining to where these prompts were found at the end of each prompt.  By sharing these prompts and posting them here, I am in no way claiming a prompt is of my own creation.  Any prompts that are of my own creation will have my name listed after them.

1.  List your five favorite books.  Take the antagonist from the first book, the protagonist from the second, the opening sentence from the third, the setting from the fourth, and the genre from the fifth.  Carry on writing the first two paragraphs of your new book.  -  writers-write-creative-blog.posthaven.com via Pinterest

2.  “What now?”
     “I don’t know.  I thought the jump would kill us.”  -  tracinoelle.com via Pinterest

3.  Suzanne has a secret.  Danny has the key.  Sam is bleeding out on the table.  And no one has seen Greg since he left for food four hours ago.  -  promptuarium.wordpress.com via Pinterest


Liz A. said...

Great idea. I'll have to take a look at these and see if something comes of them.

Angela said...

That's great,Liz! I have three new ones each day this week, so there's a total of fifteen. Maybe something will work to help you break through your block. I hope so! :)

Nicola said...

I love the idea of the first one - especially dragging different characters from different books (genre) and throwing them into a completely different situation than they're used to. The mind boggles... Harry Potter meets Jaws (James Bond) in Neverland. Now that would be an interesting story :) Have a gerat week and thank you for the super post.

Angela said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Nicola! I think that prompt would turn out some interesting stories, especially if the person reads in a variety of genres!