Writing Prompts..

@Ravenladyj (22992)
United States
April 29, 2008 2:41pm CST
When you are going through a bout of writers block do you ever try using prompts to break it? If you do, do you use just random words or sentences as a prompt or do you do an episode of freewriting to try and break that block? Whatever method you use, do you find it helps? do you have any other Prompt suggestions for all the writers here?
1 person likes this
7 responses
@anawar (2406)
• United States
29 Apr 08
I wish noone ever thought of the words 'writers block.' Just thinking or saying the words blocks me. Prompts don't help me_ it only makes me feel worse because I can't respond to them. Sometimes other writers start by using a picture or a quotation. Again, it doesn't work for me. If I can't write, I acquise, not fight it. So, I can't write for awhile and it's scary and I don't like it. Words are my friends and I'm lonely when they leave me. After I've totally frustrated myself by trying to write, I start reading books. I don't like not writing, but reading a book I enjoy, written by an author whose style I enjoy, usually does the trick. Other times, I meditate for several days. I try to calm my mind and listen for any words that might be trying to reach me. I like your idea of freewriting. I don't have much luck with it, but at least I get thoughts out of my head. It helps me to go somewhere. I'm not much for shopping, but it can be helpful because for no reason I can ascertain, people always talk to me. They talk to me while we're waiting in line at the register. People stop me in stores and strike up conversations. It's very interesting. Sometimes talking to someone I don't know clears my thinking process. Spending a few days raking leaves or walking in the woods restores my words. If none of those things help, like I said, I acquise and batten down the hatches until I return to my computer. Can anyone force a story or write by deliberation? I wish I could.
3 people like this
@patgalca (13962)
• Orangeville, Ontario
30 Apr 08
I have joined a writing group in my town. We meet every two weeks. Whoever is leading that week comes up with a selection of prompts whether they be a single word, a starting phrase, photos or objects. We have a ten-minute time limit so it forces me to write. I try to keep in mind whatever I am working on at home. I wrote one novel out of a bunch of pieces written from prompts. It was like putting together a puzzle trying to find the right place for each scene. Of course I expanded on them. I also have a book called "A Writer's Book of Days" by Judy Reeves. It has a different prompt for every day of the year. There are other prompt books ("Book of Matches" comes to mind) as well as websites. Recently I have taken to watching Joyce Meyer, first on tv then on the internet. I have been taking notes. She says some great things full of spirituality and humour. I found a free poetry contest that requires a poem in the theme of spirituality so I took a quote from Joyce Meyer and expanded on it in rhyme form, and even used another of her quotes in the same poem. Book titles, song, first lines of other stories all make good prompts. I find music does inspire me. In fact a newsletter I got today had a writing prompt suggesting writing a short story from the lyrics of a song. I've also gotten some ideas from stories on the Dr. Phil show. Ideas are everywhere, you just have to keep your eyes and ears open.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Apr 08
For overcoming writer's block, I made up a book of writing ideas, questions, and prompts. Whenever an idea hits me that I know I can write about, I take out my notebook and jot down key words or maybe a sentence. Then when the mood to write strikes, I can "free-flow" write without worrying about sentence structure, grammar, etc. (Polishing comes later.) Prompt suggestions are: major life events, wishful thinking, a news item, solving a problem on paper. Most helpful to me is looking at a photograph from a trip or event, and trying to re-capture the before, during, & after (including dialogue & scenery).
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
29 Apr 08
I do a lot of writing, both fiction and non-fiction...sometimes I'll get a "brilliant" basic idea for a story, but nothing to write as of that moment....so I jot down my idea of the story and put it on the back burner for when the "muse" hits me...that happened sometime ago when I got a brilliant idea for a short story with the Civil War as the background theme....but nothing came of it...then bingo months later the idea "talked" to me and rattle out that story so fast Sometimes when I'm in the middle of actually writing a story I get stuck...I know the beginning and end...but I can get stuck at one point somewhere in the middle..well, yikes I must dream about my stories...this happened one time. I was stuck, didn't know where to take my story..so one night went to bed...boom..I woke up and in my groggy state reached out for the notebook I have nearby and rattled off the "missing" piece for my story...then went back to bed...when I woke up again hours later, I looked at my "scribbles"--it was so on the money of how I wanted the story to go that I didn't have to change a thing Non-fiction writing is a whole different ballgame...sometimes I just have to force myself with ideas and writing out of articles...once I get going it just flows
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
30 Apr 08
I dont write fiction myself..I havent in MANY yrs actually (since I was probably about 9 or 10 WOW ) but I love writing about life be it mine or life issues in general or just things on my mind, my opinions of whatever ya know and for several months I would jot things down on random pcs of paper (back of an envelope, scrap paper, receipts etc)....then lose them SOOO I got some notebooks....but ever since I got them and started carrying them with me I've had the largest brainf@rt ever known to mankind..I'm talking Guiness Book of World Records worthy here LOL Mind you being sick, being busy, being away a few times..being interupted by arguing children, hyper dogs and housecats that thing they are boxing, race running cougars doesnt help any either... that whole dreaming the missing pc thing is FABULOUS!!! I have killer ideas etc when I dream (or when I'm in the bathroom oddly enough LOL) but never think to write them down when I wake up..YET I'll write down a troublesome dream when I have the...How odd is that??
1 person likes this
1 May 08
Or when I'm in the bathroom oddly enough Actually, it's not odd at all. I get almost all my best ideas (both for fiction and philosophical epiphanies )on the loo or in the shower. It's because your mind is given complete freedom; what do you have to think about while on the loo, after all? lol, I remember a few years ago a writer for a men's mag decided that, after discovering all his best column ideas came to him while he was having a poo, that he would deliberately write a 'poo' column. Genius.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (43962)
• United States
1 May 08
Thank you RavenladyJ for the br.... Hmmm thinking about the bathroom and one getting ideas while there...not so unusual ShardAerliss---I heard a story once that Agatha Christie, the famous mystery author got all her ideas while soaking in a hot tub and munching on apples ...go figure
• United States
30 Apr 08
I just back up from the project and do something else. Sometimes you can think too hard on a subject, and frustrate yourself into a writer's block. I go watch TV or play with the kids, or whatever until an inspiration leads me back to the work in question. Then my writing comes alive.
1 person likes this
@irishmist (3843)
• United States
29 Apr 08
I have this problem a lot. I usually wait for something to pop into my head, or something to trigger a thought to write about. I have this problem a lot when I write at associated content, and I just wrote 2 articles, but they come in spurts, plus I don't really have a lot of time to write.
1 person likes this
@winterose (39931)
• Canada
29 Apr 08
I am never lost for words for writing but when helps is free flow, stream of consciousness, just write whatever comes to your mind, and pretty soon you will come to an idea that you can work with.
1 person likes this