Prompts-The Best Ways To Expand Your Writing
It should probably go without saying that I’m kind of a really big fan of writing prompts. I mean, come on. There are more than 300 prompts in the library and hundreds more scheduled through spring of next year. They’re too fun NOT to create.
Over the last few months, I’ve gotten a couple questions and comments from readers, blog visitors, etc., asking for permission to use the prompts on TheFakeRedhead.com. Well, here’s your no-longer-implied-yes. Yes. Absolutely yes. I write these dialogue prompts in the hopes that YOU will be inspired to both write and keep writing. You have all the permission in the world to use my prompts to inspire your writing.
Now, some of you may be asking, “If everyone’s using the same writing prompt, won’t they basically be writing the same story?”
That’s the best part of writing prompts. A few months ago in the writing group I’m part of, the woman who runs it made a really good point about prompts. If you hand the same prompt out to a room of 30 people, you’re going to find yourself with 30 completely different stories. That’s just how it works. No one has the same brain, so no one knows your story better than you do.
So, click the Continue Reading button for five ways to use prompts in your writing, and then KEEP reading for an exciting announcement!
1. Rule One: There Are No Rules!
You can do WHATEVER you want to a prompt to make it work for you.
Whatever you want.
You can chip it to pieces, you can change the genders of the subject, you can remove the gender, you can take the quotation marks out of it—seriously, the sky’s the limit to what you can do to a prompt once you connect to one.
No one who writes prompts is going to be offended if you use one or two or more or even pieces of prompts, if you combine a bunch or even take those pieces and make a whole new prompt, so long as it works for you. Do whatever it takes to inspire you to get your writing done.
2. Rule Two: Not To Worry
Don’t think about it.
3. Take Your Characters Out Of Their Own Story
Now, this is a very common tactic used in fandom, but it can also work in traditional novel writing. You know your characters better than anyone, therefore you can do whatever you want with them. You don’t JUST have to write them in the story you’re working on.
It may sound a little counterproductive, but if you take a session or two to sit down and write something with your character or characters doing something they don’t usually do, then you’ll be able to slip right back into what you’re supposed to be doing.
The point is that sometimes you get bogged down when you’re thinking too hard about what your characters should be doing, so this is a way to take a break from doing that while still working with finding other pieces of your character’s background to highlight.
And you never know, you may end up using bits and pieces of these alternate scenes within your main storyline. Novels work in mysterious ways.
4. Take A Break From Your Current Text
Now, this may sound a LOT more counterproductive than the previous point, but seriously, breaks are good.
In fact, breaks are critical.
They’re so critical I’ve already written a post about it called 4 Reasons Why Breaks Are Good For Your Productivity.
I’m not saying that you should start writing another novel, but you can take a few hundred words and write something else, and like I said in the previous point, it’ll help you with whatever scene you’re stuck on, and allow you to come back to it with a clearer head.
5. Where To Find Prompts
Well first, scroll to the top of the page and enjoy the contents of the Prompt Library menu. But, of course, TheFakeRedhead.com is not the only home for writing prompts within the vastness of the Internet.
While you can always just Google “writing prompts” and end up on some randomly-generated prompt sites, I’ve always found them to be a little dry and too much on the generic side.
You know a great place for writing prompts?
But wait, isn’t Pinterest for crafting ideas, wedding inspiration, and recipes?
Like I’ve mentioned in some other posts, Pinterest is basically Google with pretty pictures. So, if you search for something like Writing Prompts, you’ll find hundreds upon hundreds of prompts and story starters, both in text and visual form. Whatever you can imagine, you can probably find it on Pinterest. Need a place to start? Try this Writing Prompts board.
Another great place to find prompts—and this is probably the first place that comes to mind for most writers—is Tumblr. Just search for prompts and you’ll find everything from OTP Prompts, AU Prompts, themed prompts of any and all kinds, photo prompts, etc.
And Now, A Big Announcement
I’ve created TWO new eBooks!
These eBooks are FULL of prompts. More than 100, if you want to be specific.
In each volume, not only will you get 100 prompts NOT seen on TheFakeRedhead.com, but you will also get an invitation to a stress-free 30 day writing challenge, the copy of more than 40 of the most popular prompts on the blog, and my 60 of my personal favorite prompts, which include a handful of prompts that won’t be posted until the end of the year.
Like what you read? Want to see more?
-Kathryn, the Fake Redhead