Three Writing Prompts to Get Your Fingers Flying

28March

Three Writing Prompts to Get Your Fingers Flying

Even the world’s greatest musicians practice daily and spend time warming up before every single performance.  As a writer, you, too, need to work your creative muscles with some exercises designed to challenge your creativity, stretch your limits, and rev your writing engine. 

Spend no more than ten minutes on each of these prompts.  Set an alarm to snap you out of your writing frenzy, and then take a look at what you’ve created.  It could be trash, or it could be treasure.  It doesn’t matter.  It’s practice.  But it’s pretty fun practice.

1)      Every writer has a target audience, whether you are writing marketing material to a specific demographic or you are writing a novel you want your father to love. Take a few minutes to describe your target audience, working your way to your one ideal reader.  Is it a he or a she?  Is he reading while sipping a mocha latte?  What does he want to know; what’s important to him?  Does he tend to wear the same belt every day, even if it doesn’t match his outfit?  If you create your ideal reader in your head, you may almost feel like you are writing for just that person, and your copy will take on a great personal tone. 

2)      Select a random picture from a magazine or even from your family photo album.  Now try to recreate that picture in words.  Describe not only what you see, but what you sense: If there are people, what are the thoughts going through the people’s heads?  Is there drama, tension?  If it is a nature scene, get the reader to feel the sand between their toes, hear the rustle of the wind through the leaves, or shiver in the clammy mist that rises from the wet grass.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, a thousand words should be worth a picture, right?

3)      Pull out the thesaurus and randomly choose five words.  Now, whatever words you’ve got, try to write a short piece that uses all of them.  It’s a writer’s challenge that inspires some serious creativity and some very interesting short stories!

I’ll end with my favorite anecdote about a writing exercise similar to #3:

The urban legend goes that a college professor challenged his creative writing class to write a short essay containing each of the following elements:

  • Religion
  • Royalty
  • Sex
  • Mystery

The only A+ essay read:

“’My God,’ said the Queen.  “I’m pregnant!  I wonder whose it is?”

Posted by Meghan  Posted on 28 Mar 
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