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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Writing Prompts

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.  Your younger sister is getting married and you’re her maid/matron of honor.  The day of the wedding, you’re seeing to last minute preparations when you stumble across a dead body.  Who is it?  How did they die?  What happens next?  -  Angela Kelly

2.  “Don’t go out there!”
      “Why not?”
     “They all bite.”  -  Angela Kelly

3.  You’re walking in the woods when you come to a clearing with a circle of stones and a stone altar in the middle of it.  A rainbow splashes the altar with color, and you realize it’s the end of the rainbow.  What happens next?  -  Angela Kelly

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