Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Beauty of Writing Prompts

From Cheryl's Writing Crate

Writing is so many different things to me.  I have always enjoyed articulating my daily schedule into a written "to do" list.  Organized pagesI  of grocery shopping lists, household improvement lists, personal, professional, and family written goals are truly a part of who I am.

In addition, I crave my sacred, early morning writing time where I can focus on what makes me tick as a writer, therefore feeding my muse with wide-open time slots to journal, work on columns and articles, conduct interviews for articles that I'm writing, work on my novel, or many times just sit and write about a random thought just for the sake of writing.

When I decided that I wanted to take my writing to the next level, I started investigating as many creative and insightful writing books as I could find.  One that I came upon during the recent holidays was The Writer's Book of Matches, and it's truly helping me to change how I look at any ordinary topic by teaching me how to just "let go" and write without any inhibitions.

You'll Love This Book If:

  • You need writing inspiration
  • You're looking for writing prompts
  • You have a case of writer's block

The Writer's Book of Matches is packed with hundreds of writing prompts to jump-start your writing! Whether you have a case of writer's block, are looking for writing inspiration for your next story, or want to get back to writing regularly, you'll find tons of creative writing prompts.
The Writer's Book of Matches provides three types of writing prompts. Each prompt details a conflict, revelation, or unusual situation.
The first prompt is called a situation prompt. These types of prompts provide an obvious protagonist who finds himself (or herself) in an unusual or emotionally charged situation.
The second type of prompt is a dialogue prompt in which you have to create the context in which the dialogue is being spoken. This gives you more freedom to create a plot, while at the same time forcing you to deal with character interaction before anything else.
The third type of prompt is an assignment prompt. They present a shared context in which multiple characters find themselves. Your job is to create a situation or conflict for each character given the context. 
My prompt for this morning was:   At exactly midnight on New Year’s Eve you receive an email labeled “Open Immediately.” The really strange thing is that the email is apparently from your future self. What does it say?
I wish I had seen this on New Year's, but it still got me thinking and before I knew it I had written an entire essay.   The book suggests you write your prompts in 500 words or less, which is extremely helpful in helping a writer to hone in and stay detailed without rambling, but many of these writing prompts are quite cathartic in nature, and I'm finding them helpful not only for my writing, but for my own personal life as well.
I hope you'll check this book out if you are looking for similar ways to jump start your creativity, but if you have another book or way that you launch your creativity, please share with us what that is.

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