Creative writing prompts
With many of us limiting our time out of the house, I figured now would be an excellent time for writing prompts. If you’re stressed out or just bored, writing can help take your mind off of it. Here are some writing prompts to help get you through the month of March and into April.
An epistolary novel is one that tells the story in a series of documents. This is oftentimes journal entries or letters or both. For your writing prompt, please write the start of a story using either a journal entry or a letter. Tempted to write something historical? You aren’t alone. Most epistolary fiction is historical, although I have seen novels with instant messages and texts in use. As an aside, if you enjoy historical suspense and wish to try an epistolary novel, read The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers. In this story, we meet Placidia Hockaday, a woman who was been arrested for infidelity, charged with murder, and is awaiting trial. Her story is told through a series of letters, official inquiries, and journal entries which tell a tale of hardship, life during the Civil War for a woman left behind, and redemption. It’s available on Hoopla, Freading and Overdrive so you can read from home using our amazing eLibrary.
Create a short story using all five words:
In honor of National Tolkien Reading Day, please write a plot summary for a fantasy story. A plot summary is a condensed version of the story that doesn’t delve too deep into the work. Just write what will happen overall. Stumped? Here’s a prompt to write about instead: The dragon was much larger than anticipated.
Get a piece of paper, choose one of the following phrases, and finish writing the sentence after the ellipsis with whatever comes into your head. If it inspires you, continue the story! If I hear him cry one more time… The noise was sudden in the stillness… Hidden beneath the blanket… “Uh oh,” she said… If only I had known… Everyone else was grieving…
Music is powerful. Listen to a song that hold a lot of meaning for you and free write while you’re listening. Free writing is just writing down whatever comes into your head.
What is an item you own that holds an intense amount of sentimental value? Where did you get it? What memories are attached?
Write a short story based on one of the following lines of dialogue. “I knew you wouldn’t be able to see it through.” “I’ll find her and bring her home, I promise.” “Why didn’t he come and talk to me himself?” “Why is the robot staring?” “Couldn’t you pick on another elf?” “You’ve got mail.” If you want an additional challenge, write the story only using dialogue, showing the different between the speakers only through the language that they use. In other words, don’t use the dialogue tags of “he/she/they said.”
Fill this page with a list of things that make you smile.
April is National Poetry Writing Month! That means it’s time to write some poetry. Not sure how to do that? Here are a couple of suggestions. *Write a haiku. This ancient Japanese form of poetry is renowned for the deeper meanings hidden within its small size. The most common form of haiku used in America is comprised of 3 lines. The first line has 5 syllables, the second line 7 syllables, and the last line another 5 syllables. An example by Matsuo Basho An old silent pond… A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again. *Find two or three sentences of prose in a book, newspaper, or magazine. To make this prose into a poem, insert line breaks into the test to highlight whatever you think is the most important or interesting. A line can be as long or as short as you want. You can cut or add words as you like. Just don’t take full credit for the final piece! *Write an acrostic poem. It’s a poem where letters within the lines of that poem spell out a specific word. For example, the work “Books.” Beautiful words on yellowed pages. Overlooking the rest of the world to read. On and on, scanning the text eagerly. Keeping late hours to finish. Stories coming to life. Write your own based on a word of your choice.
Flip through a dictionary to find three random words. (You could also go to dictionary.com and scroll down to the bottom of the page to click on a random letter of the alphabet and pick one word from each letter that you choose. Additionally, if you ask Google for a random word, it will give you one along with the definition. I bet Siri and Alexa could do the same.) Seen together, what do those three words make you think of? How does your mind connect them? You can free write about them or try to use them all in a paragraph. For the curious, I came up with the words “friendship, pencil, and lighthouse.”
The setting can be just as important as the story itself. Think of a story you’ve read and enjoyed and imagine it in another time or place. Would it work as well? Would it completely change the story? I hope so! For todays prompt, I want you to write about what happens in one of the following locations. Art Gallery, Animal Shelter, Baseball Stadium, Beach, Cabin, Coal Mine, City Street, Garden, Graveyard, Mansion, Observatory, Prison, Racetrack, School, Small Town, Train Station, Treehouse, Windmill, Woods, Zoo Make sure you think about the time period, time of day, atmosphere, weather and location.
Write about a recent incident you were involved in from the point of view of someone else who was involved. That’s harder than it sounds!
Whether you’re a regular at our writing groups or looking for a creative outlet, enjoy these writing prompts!