Writing From Prompts

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To write, you must write. That is a true statement however you look at it. Any creative person will tell you that practice is what makes you better. In a study done of creative people, the one thing that that stands out for the masters of their craft is … practice. Those who practiced the most were the best. Think of writing from prompts as that practice.

*The prompt may be an open-ended sentence, a question, a topic, or a scenario that generates ideas for writing.

* The prompt can set up: a character; a setting; a theme; or a conflict and from there the writer must devise the plot.

* Writing prompts give you the ability to experiment with different writing styles, topics, and genres.

* Writing from a prompt allows you to brainstorm by writing down lots of ideas that come to mind from the prompts. Asking questions like: “What happens next?”; “How would this character react if this happens?”; “How many different ways could this idea progress?”; “What if I tried to write a poem/humorous/sad story from this prompt?” etc.

* The idea is to just write freely, not worrying about editing to begin with – you can always polish it later.


In the writing group I facilitate, the fun of reading what we all wrote from the same prompt is exhilarating.  The spectrum of what is written from the same prompt is amazing sometimes: some people will think of funny plots; others, mysteries; and others, very dark plots.

Here is an example of a prompt recently used in our group:

~ Write about the most interesting place you have visited. Remember to fully describe the place using all the senses that you can.

And this is what I wrote:

Ode to Stonehenge

By Marie Staight

Giant bluestone π signs

Circled in the grassy Salisbury Plains

Some standing like soldiers

Others felled to the ground by gravity.


Above, the sky is crystal blue

The smell of new-mown grass below

The earth, magnetic in its pull

But still, you stand in mystery.


The ring of stone that crowns the earth

Its very stance proves π  is true

The circumference divided by the radius

Three dot one four one five nine two …


Still, π does not explain your origins

Why on this green magnetic meadow

The ancients in the Bronze Age

Built you over millenniums with sweat and death


Stonehenge your beauty rests on mystery

As the lintels rest on joints of tongue and groove

We will never know the why or what of you

Your mystery buried forever on the English grasslands.


What about you? Take a try at writing from the above prompt, or there are plenty of good prompts you can find by Googling “Writing Prompts”.

Good luck and keep writing.

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