Tuesday, September 04, 2007

5 Tips for Using a Writing Prompt

How to Use a Writing Prompt in Fiction Writing
The 5 Tips:

  1. Any prompt is only a jumping-off point. You never know where you are going to land!
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. Write dialogue. In twenty-five years of teaching writing, I have never worked with anyone who couldn’t write dialogue – only with people who thought they couldn’t!
  5. 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 Writing  Prompt:“Nobody loves you like I do,” he said as …
Suggestions for developing the prompt:

This prompt can be an introduction to a love scene or a horror scene.

Who is the “he” and to whom is “he” talking? Is the other person a lover, spouse, child or victim?
What is his tone of voice?
Where is he physically and emotionally?
How does he feel about the other person? Does he adore? Feel jealous? Hate? Is he protective? Possessive? Imploring? Impassioned?
Is the other person a man or a woman or a child?

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Want feed back on your writing from this prompt? Looking for a Writing Coach or a small, inspiring writing workshop? You can always call me at 914.962.4432 to further explore working with me. 
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