Sunday, February 22, 2009

Prompt Me!


I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again: I love prompts. A good prompt is a jolt to my creativity. It gets me thinking of stories I wouldn’t have imagined otherwise. I look for prompts everywhere. In snippets of overheard conversation. In writer’s magazines and websites. In the Theme Calendar on Duotrope’s Digest.

One of my favorite sources for prompts is the Writer’s Digest Your Story contest. WD provides a prompt, then asks readers to submit a 750 word story based on the prompt. Some are silly, some are serious, but they’re almost always thought-provoking.

With the last issue, it finally registered that WD culled their prompts from a book: The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction. I decided to buy a copy. And I’ve become rather annoying with it. I’ve sent prompts, unsolicited, to my nearest and dearest writing buddies. And I’ve taken the book to share at my writer’s workshop. Plain and simple, this is a great book. I can’t wait to get the most from it.

So far, I’ve just browsed it and admired the creativity driving them. But I’ve decided to go one step further. Starting today, I’m going to do a prompt-a-day freewrite. I plan to go through the prompts in order, one at a time. And I’m going to find a way to approach each that stretches my creativity, yet remains true to myself as a writer.

For anyone who wishes to join me, here’s prompt #1. Good luck and good writing. May the muse shine on you.

“Well, if you could accuse anybody of being downright evil, it would be him.” (From The Writer’s Book of Matches: 1001 Prompts to Ignite Your Fiction. Writer’s Digest Books, 2005.)


Stephen said...

Thanks for the reference and the posting, Greta. I'm already making plans to go out and get a copy.

Linda said...

I like prompts, too. Robert Brewer does a Wednesday prompt that I often free-write to.

I wish I had your stamina. I have so little time to write that sometimes I feel prompts are frivolous. But them I find my writing stuck, so how do I unstick it? Prompts.

They're kinda like penicillin sometimes... Peace, Linda

Greta said...

Linda, I'll look for the Brewster prompts. Anything to get the juices flowing.

Don't envy my stamina. The prompts are really just my way of avoiding Jamieson's Folly. The long stuff is just sooooo darn hard.

Greta said...

Duh, Brewer. I'm brain dead today.