Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Using Writing Prompts

by Katie Hines

I feel rather dry today. Uninspired. No verbosity from this writer. Maybe it's because I stayed up all night last night thinking about all my works-in-progress. Not much progress, though. I think I need to find some inspiration. One thing I've done in the past that works, is to write something based on a prompt. You can google "writing prompts" and get a wealth of information and prompts that way.

i first came across writing prompts when I was doing my crash course on writing fiction. There really are actual websites that are devoted to writing prompts. One gal has written a book with writing prompts listed. Try this site - it has over 300.

I've always kind of pooh-poohed the idea of using prompts, but sometimes, that's just what it takes to get started. I don't necessarily have to write with the idea that I'm going to use in whatever work-in-progress (WIP) I'm currently concentrating on. The idea is to get my muse up from its nap and start those creative juices flowing.

For example, one writing prompt may be to write about what you had for dinner the night before and how you prepared it. Dull? Probably. Dry and boring? Most likely. Gets the, ah, juices flowing. Yes! Now, am I going to incorporate that dinner in my WIP? No, not really. But, in one sense it gets incorporated into what I'm writing by virtue of getting my muse flowing.

But writing prompts don't have to be boring. Brian Klems has posted a great prompt called "Undercover at Bingo." It's about being a spy, and is funny and creative, and gets you thinking in a different manner than you would normally. And, it's fun! Give it your best shot...allow yourself to become inspired.

So, if you're dry and have lost your muse, try a writing prompt. See if you can't get up and writing again...allow yourself to get inspired!

Katie Hines is author of "Guardian" published by 4RV Publishing.


  1. I've been reading a lot about the benefits of writing prompts. Great tips!

  2. Dear Katie,
    Thanks for the idea of using writing prompts when your ideas seem stopped up. It's also possible that browsing through pictures or catalogues will rev up the engines of your creativity.
    Celebrate you today and your gift of sharing with others.
    Never Give Up