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Prompts to start you writing

Imagination Prompt Generator: Writing Inspiration at the Press of a Button

Getting started with any writing project can be made a bit easier by the equivalent of cracking your knuckles—by doing some kind of short writing exercise that just gets your hands moving. I know it sounds crazy, but I sometimes think it’s your hands being in motion that let your brain know that “the writing zone” has been entered, far more than the other way around.

If you enjoyed Hack your way out of writer’s block, you might also dig this little trick: a page that gives you random suggestions, or prompts, for topics about which you can write whatever you like. A few examples:

  • Describe five things that you can see right now.
  • 10 things I’m pessimistic about
  • My three closest friends…
  • If I could change my…
  • Between the ages of 5 and 10, what was your favorite activity?

They have links to more prompts and creativity helpers below the button including these and these.

Like practicing scales before singing or stretching your legs before a run, little hacks like this can take the trauma out of the blank page (or keep you from metaphorically pulling something, I suppose). I also like that they get you thinking about ideas outside your usual comfort zone (even though a few sound remarkably like awful LiveJournal memes).

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Elizabeth Genco's picture

Awww, I *like* the LJ...

Awww, I like the LJ memes! Point taken, though, and your list is hysterical.

Some folks call 'em wussy, but I've always loved writing prompts. I have books full of them. In addition to getting the creativity swirling about, they're a great way to blow off steam and experiment. A recent good one I've found is called THE 3 A.M. EPIPHANY. They're more exercises than prompts, but they serve a certain mood and intention. If you want lots of topics for free writing, try any of Judy Reeve's books.

I find it kind of curious and cool that I sometimes want to write but don't want to be bothered with thinking up a topic on my own.




An Oblique Strategy:
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