Shelley Widhalm

Writing Prompt Tricks

In 52 Writing Topics, Shelley Widhalm, Writing on November 4, 2012 at 11:00 am

Writing prompts are a dime a dozen.

I find them in writer’s magazines, books on writing and books of quotations, plus the dictionary, thesaurus and any book that doesn’t already tell a story, such as books on gardening, beading and art collections.

Here are a few prompts that I’ve borrowed and reworded, plus some of my own.

Use these prompts as a starting point and write based on the image, idea or thought that first comes to your mind.

  • Randomly read a line from a book or look up a word in dictionary.
  • Turn on the radio and use the first complete sentence you hear.
  • Describe what’s around you, using all of your senses, those of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
  • Pretend you’re a waitress and use the order pad to write a different type of story. Or try using the form of a grocery list.
  • Think about your favorite hobby and why you got interested in this and what this particular hobby says about you.
  • Recall a childhood place and describe it.
  • Grab a snippet of conversation and use it to start a dialogue between characters.
  • Read a poem and use the mood it creates to start writing.
  • Write  about an old object. What does it make you think about and what emotions does it evoke?
  • Walk down the aisles of a toy store and see what happens.
  • Write about something you lost and want back, and then imagine what you would do if you had it back.
  • Write about your secret wish (mine is to be a full-time novelist married to the hottest man on the planet).
  • Read a couple of horoscopes and the weather report together.
  • Write about a bad gift you gave or received.
  • Read a billboard and start writing based on the corny or cute saying.
  • Write about a new pair of shoes. (I had to include shoes, of course!)

Feel inspired, yet? If not, see what Zoey the Cute Dachshund has to say about writing prompts.

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  1. “•Write about something you lost and want back, and then imagine what you would do if you had it back.” Guess what I’d write!

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