Writer’s block is deadly – but fear not! These creative writing prompts for writers won’t just make your words flow, they’ll fire up your creative juices.
Before the tips, a quip:
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” ~ Carl Jung.
Fiction writers in particular need lots of practice and creative play to build stories. So many elements come together in a story; the characters, setting, plot, dialogue and all must be original and interesting. When your imagination slows you down because it’s blocked, you need to get back to basics!
If you’re seriously struggling to make your words flow, read What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers (3rd Edition) by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter.
And, use these creative writing prompts to find your voice, words, and ideas…
Writing Prompts to Make the Creative Juices Flow
Writer’s block stops a writer’s income cold and holds up all projects – whether it’s a magazine article that’s due tomorrow or an academic essay that’s due in a month. Luckily, writer’s block isn’t a permanent condition and can usually be remedied with a few basic creative writing prompts for writers.
Use a Random Writing Prompt
Pick a random prompt from a writing magazine, blog, online prompt generator or book and go with it. This is probably the simplest method for getting started writing and keeping words flowing. The initial idea is given to the writer, and he needs only need to build on it. Writing prompts don’t just help with overcoming writers block, they’re great for keeping up your writing journal.
Rewrite a Bad Magazine or Book Ending
Every writer has read a book that they want to fix! Perhaps the ending was terrible. Or the dialogue felt heavy. Maybe that plot just didn’t work and you know exactly how to fix it. Well, go ahead! An effective creative writing prompt is to rewrite that short story, book or novel in your journal. Give it the happy ending it deserves.
Put Your Hearing Aid In
Writers who want to write more realistic dialogue tend to eavesdrop on public conversations. They aren’t looking to invade anyone’s privacy. They only want to learn what kind of words people are using, the specifics of a local dialect or region, and get an idea of how we all communicate with each other. If you struggle to make your words flow, take a page from the eavesdropper’s book and listen for a good snippet of dialogue. Make that the first line of your story and build on it.
Do a Round Robin – a Creative Writing Prompt for a Writers Group
A good round robin is the way to get those creative juices flowing. Sometimes writing a story is too intimidating. Ease the burden by turning it into a round robin with a couple of writing friends, or your writers group. Make each person responsible for a chapter, a page or a paragraph of writing and take turns writing the story.
Draw a Picture
Some writers are visual learners and creators. They may have an easier time starting a story or just freely creating ideas in picture form. In this creative writing prompt, everything from random doodles to full blown scenes are acceptable! One method is to cut a small image from a magazine and glue it onto the journal page, then use markers, colored pencils and pencils to draw a picture around it, based on it or incorporating it. This method of making your words flow is similar to mind mapping for writers.
Write a Picture
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. See if “they” are right. Find any intriguing picture or photograph and write about it. Who are the people in the scene? What’s the back-story? What’s going on? A unique story just might develop on its own.
Create a Word Chain
This creative writing prompt makes for some interesting poetry. A word chain is a game writers use to build their vocabulary, word selection skills and even pattern recognition. Start with one random word such as, apple. Then write the second word, which must use for its first letter, the same last letter as the first word. For example, apple eaters, is the start of this word chain. Each consecutive word must follow these rules, creating a linked chain of words. Furthering this example; apple eaters seek kind dates so others see everything going good. Try to keep the chain going as long as you can, and see if you can create something which makes sense.
Let Your Words Flow With Freewriting
Freewriting is a method of tapping into subconscious ideas. Sit down to a blank page (or screen) and start writing the random thoughts that pop into your head. Write anything you want, whether or not it’s interesting. As long as the words are flowing, it’s an effective creative writing prompt! Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation or grammar. It will only slow you down and make you think, which is what you are trying to avoid. I’ve used this writing prompt to come up with a few poems based on events around me at the time of writing. Freewriting seems to work best in a setting where lots of things are going on.
What creative writing prompts work when you have writer’s block? Comments welcome below!
For tips, read How to Fix Writer’s Block and Make Your Writing Sparkle.
About the Author: Hope Hammond is a freelance writer who specializes in web content creation. She’s also working on her first book, and occasionally posts updates about it at her blog, FEBS.
Hope also wrote Got Fiction Characters? How to Use a Character Web to Track Them, here on Quips & Tips for Successful Writers.