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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Writing Wednesday | Why Writing Prompts Work

Okay. So I know some of you HATE writing prompts. And I mean HATE. I do writing prompts weekly, usually Wednesdays although yesterday I did one for you guys. Some of you like reading writing prompts because they're fun but don't like writing them or putting much effort in them.

Here is why you should do them!

1. I get writer's block every once and a while and it's incredibly annoying. By doing a writing prompt, you're breaking through writer's block and getting your momentum back. Even if you don't like the prompt, if you force yourself to just write for five minutes, your brain will get back on the subject.

2. You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Well, this is true with writing. The more you do it the more you perfect your skills, find your style, find your voice and overall make your writing better. It can't hurt!

3. They are called creative writing prompts for a reason. It bumps up your creativity. Especially when you find a really crazy writing prompt like the one I did last week about the crazy reporter, it makes you think and come up with new ideas. Your creative part of you brain starts firing off ideas.

4. You have to sit and write. I know when I first started writing, I wasn't sure when was a good time to write or when I was on fire. Since sitting once a week and doing a writing prompt, it makes me sit down and just write. Whether I'm generating ideas for the day or just writing for twenty minutes, I'm writing. Get in the habit of writing for a few minutes every single day!

5. Prompts prompt ideas. I know that sounds weird but it's true. Last week's prompt gave me an awesome idea for a full length story. It was a plot based prompt and I fell in love with what I wrote. That happened another time with a sentence starter. I loved the way a sentence was wrote and plopped it into my book. They give us new ideas to use in our real writing.

6. Character building can be explored with writing prompts. Sometimes I'll do a writing prompt and use a character from my novel and see how they would react in the prompt. I change the name but I still try to use the character, see how they react. It really helps the writer become familiar with their characters and explore in a different context.

7. Prompts can help writers explore tenses. I know that when writing I tend to write in the present tense and from first person. When I do prompts, sometimes I like to write passively just to test it out and practice. It helps broaden my skills and practice things I typically don't do.

8. I'm not a dictionary so I don't know every single word. But when writing prompts, I can try out longer words and see if they work. Prompts let us explore and learn new vocabulary and test it out at a place where we aren't being judged or having to put ourselves out there. I like trying out weird words and seeing if they stick!

9. Some writing prompts have limits, like only 3 minutes to write... or in 500 words write... these are awesome because as writers we tend to over do it. By making it short, we have to cut what doesn't matter. Cut the ly verbs and repetitive sentences. For me, they definitely help me keep my writing condensed and to the point, which is what most people want. No fluff.

I know I only post prompts once a week so here are my favorite places (other than here) to find creative writing prompts.

1. Creative Prompts

2. Writing Prompts at Tumblr

3. Writers Digest

4. Writing Forward

5. Warren Wilson

So... what's the moral of the story? Do writing prompts and I promise they will help your writing immensely. I love them and love reading what those who love them too write. They're awesome and it's a great way to hone in on your skills. 

Here is a collection of mine, both responses and prompts.

Prompt 16- Stolen Lights

     Prompt 15- Strange Reporting

          Prompt 14- Thanksgiving 2013

               Prompt 13-  3 Minute Free Write

                    Prompt 12- The Mind

                         Prompt 11- ABC's

                              Prompt 10- A Mysterious Request

                                   Prompt 9- Why Did You Do It?

                                        Prompt 8- Dream Turned Reality
                                             Prompt 7- Fortune Teller
                                                  Prompt 6- Hitching a Ride Home
                                                       Prompt 5- He Turned The Key And Saw
                                                            Prompt 4- Doug
                                                                 Prompt 3- They Had Nothing To Say
                                                                      Prompt 2- Skydiving Secrets
                                                                            Prompt 1- What's A Prompt?

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