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1. Five tips for using prompts
2. Tips for handling work that results from these prompts.
TODAY’S Prompt: Ouch!
Jan 22: Build a piece of fiction around “S/he/they set off, carrying a …”
Jan 21: Begin “Yesterday…”
Jan 20: ‘She/I always wondered…’
Jan 19: Around and around and around.
Jan 18: Write a scene of fiction in which one character asks the other, “Where have you been?” and the other lies or dissembles.
Jan 17: “On Sunday morning…”
Jan 16: “All wrapped up” – literally or figuratively
Jan 15: A first… kiss, bike ride, home, love, baby…
Jan 14: Begin… “I/she/he couldn’t know how it would turn out when…’
Jan 13: Tea in the garden
Jan 12: As cold / hot as you’ve ever been
Jan 11: ‘Early one morning’
Jan 10: In stitches
Jan 9: Begin, ‘I remember him/her because…’
Jan 8: Use your five senses to describe a school classroom.
Jan 7 : Begin ‘From up there/here…’
Jan 6: Write about a favourite/memorable piece of clothing and a situation in which you or your character wore it.
Jan 5: This Painting by Andrew Wyeth.
Jan 4: Barefoot
Jan 3: My father’s shoes or My mother’s hands or vice versa. Or both.
Jan 2: Lost and/or Found
Jan 1: Something (person, incident, item) about Christmas just gone
Five tips for using writing prompts
- Consider doing timed writing – 3, 7, 10 or 20 minutes seems to work well for most people.
- Begin with a fresh page of paper, empty screen.
- Don’t think about it too long before you start writing.
- Keep your hand moving – don’t stop to rethink or redirect, just keep going. Go wherever the writing leads.
- Reread what you’ve written with curiosty rather than judgement.
Tips for working with writing that results from prompts
- Reread what you wrote with curiosity rather than judgement.
- Highlight the most compelling/interesting/revealing line, phrase, sentence or para. (You’ll see something different each time you review it.) This does two things. 1. Reassures you that you CAN write and you have something interesting to say and 2) It gives you something specific to pick up on if you want to keep going.
- Make notes about what you might do with this piece of writing – where it might lead you, other ideas and associations it throws up.
- If you’re compelled to keep writing about it now, use the line or phrase you’ve highlighted as your starting line.
- When you’re done, put the piece of writing away somewhere safe… even if it does not seem useful now, you never know when it might be.