Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Marathon's Worth of Writing Prompts

You find yourself alone ....
By Susan

Two weeks ago, Lynn Carlson shared how to structure a writing marathon with your group. Those of us who were at our marathon found it to be an inspiring and productive day. With five of us each bringing three prompts, we had more than enough idea-starters to fill the day. Here they are, for your writing pleasure:
  1. You went hiking with friends on a leisurely day hike. Somehow you've become separated from the group and they're no longer within sight or sound. How do you feel?
  2. You're awakened from your midnight sleep in your favorite chair to your dog barking wildly in the living room. Pulling her aside, you look out the window, only to see a face staring right back at you. Who is it? Why are they there?
  3. On September 1, 1830, "Mary had a Little Lamb" was published. Create your own rhyme using the same tune.
  4. Gather books of proverbs and sayings from other cultures. Flip through and write to one that catches your eye. (Personal favorite Russian proverb: "When the wolf shows his teeth, he isn't laughing.") 
  5. Pick a random number between 1 and 100 either by drawing from slips of paper, or using a random number generator. Begin your piece with "I am [number]..." with the number being your age or the age of your character. Feel free to project yourself into the future.
  6. Pick a phobia. Pick an unusual occupation. Write about someone in that line of work with that phobia. 
  7. COLORS (with envelope full of paint chips from Lowes): Color has a personality. Every color has a story or two. Choose a color, one that speaks to you, and use it as a starting point for writing... poetry, a vignette, or maybe you will interview the color. Whatever! Be loose and have fun with this prompt.
  8. Write a story about an empty glass.
  9. FIRST LINE: I have a confession to make...
  10. List your hobbies. List your 5 favorite books. List 5 favorite smells/scents. Write 3 sentences describing a favorite place. Write 3 sentences describing a favorite person in your life.
  11. Walking home, you find a shoe on the side of the road. What kind of shoe is it? What happened? Why is the shoe there? Where is the other shoe now? You can use all of these questions of just one to explore what happened. 
  12. VISITING HOUR: You've waited days to see him/her, you've travelled far, and finally visiting hours are about to begin. Write a scene of your visiting hour in one of the following: A jail; A hospital; Heaven or Hell; A boarding school; Other.
  13. You've just acquired the car/truck/motorcycle/RV/boat of your dreams. It can be brand-spankin' new, used, a classic, an antique, fully restored or in need of TLC. The next 10 days are all yours. What would you do?
  14. Write a story that includes the phrase: Let sleeping dogs lie.
  15. WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT: What truths do you hold to be self-evident? You -- yourself, and not handed down to you. To put it another way, if your feet were held to a fire and you were asked to repudiate these self-evident truths, you couldn't do it -- they are so much a part of you. 
We had a lot of fun with these. I'm sure you have plenty of your own. Please share your favorite writing prompts in the comments!


John Paul McKinney said...

These are great. Were they does individually? Or by brainstorming as a group? Either way, besides being excellent starters, themselves, they prompt other ideas. Thanks for sharing your group's prompts.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! These were done individually -- we each came up with three and brought them to the marathon.

Emma Glour said...

Wow, Great post.

Emma Glour said...

Susan you discuss about A Marathon's Worth of Writing Prompts.Very nice blog. Thanks for the post. Definitely, share it to others. Maybe you can do topics about the latest technological news. You have a great way of writing. I am interested in software advancements. Thank you very much.

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