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.

  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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