Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Use a Writing Prompt in Fiction Writing

Some Tips Before You Begin
How to use a Fiction Writing Prompt
Any prompt is only a starting point. If your imagination takes you in a direction that has nothing to do with the prompts, go where your imagination takes you.
Do not listen to the voice inside your head that says, “Oh, no! I shouldn’t be writing about this!” or “I’m not doing this right!” There are no “shoulds” or “should nots” in this process. The only thing you can do wrong is to not write.
Always name your characters, even if the name never appears in the story. Why would a character tell you her story if you don’t care enough to learn her name?
Write dialogue. In thirty years of teaching writing, I have never worked with anyone who couldn’t write dialogue – only with people who thought they couldn’t!
Be a risk taker. Don’t think. Write from your passionate core. Risk and passion are the essence of the creative journey and the sweetest nectar for your Inner Writer. Don’t forget to have fun!
The Prompt

She stood in front of the mailbox a long time, unable to decide whether or not to mail the letter. She must rewritten it ten times. Still it wasn’t right and before she mailed it, she had to read it one more time. Maybe that’s why she hadn’t sealed the envelope yet. Taking it out, she read…
How old is this character?
To whom is she writing?
Where is she standing?
Is it summer? Winter? Raining? Snowing?
Is the letter to a lover, parent, boss, friend, child?
What if she is adopted and has just found her birth mother and is writing to her for the first time...
What if she is quitting a job? Ending a relationship? Leaving home?
Consider the character’s emotional state.
Or just ask your character to come forth, then put your pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard and begin to write without a thought in your head!
This story can be about anything! It’s up to you, your imagination and your character!

Feel free to post your story from this prompt here.

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