Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Resource for Creative Writing Prompts


This website provides 329 creative writing prompts. They employ techniques such as sensory visualization, listing, word sets, first lines of stories, mini-plots, word-play, and prop-based activities. They cover poems, short stories, and non-fiction. Some are very cheesy, but others are really creative. Most of them are open-ended enough that they could fit any age group (or be easily modified to the needs of a particular group). Some of my favorites are:

Prompt 41: Write about a time you hid from someone, or a time you disguised who you really were.

Prompt 4: Fairy tales have happy endings. All of us know what happened in that mushy fairy tale, Cinderella. Yeah, it’s romantic, the prince actually finding Cinderella. They lived happily ever after. But happy endings can sometimes be… well, boring. No zing. So predictable. So…happy. What if the shoe fit one of the sisters? What happens then? Play with your imagination here. Be funny if you like. Or serious if you feel like it. Or be an Alfred Hitchcock. Whatever you are into, write your ending to the Cinderella story—but this time, make it so she shoe fits one of the icky sisters. What does Prince Charming do? How does Cinderella cope with it? And what about the Fairy Godmother? Start your story here.

Prompt 11: Below are three sets of words. Use all the words in each set to write mini-stories of 300 words or less:
Set 1: paper clips, principle, lunchbox, swing, girl with a pink ribbon
Set 2: biology, class card, foreign student, leaf, blood sample
Set 3: typewriter, filing cabinet, puncher, clerk, carbon paper, janitor

If you’re in a pinch for a writing activity, this website seems like a good place to start.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this,and I'll explain why:

    The last line here is key, specifically the "pinched for a writing activity" part. I'll admit to, on occasion, being rushed and needing an activity, but when I came across this site before, I felt off-put by it. A poorly designed webpage, overwhelming and ridiculous looking. In fact, many of the prompts they offer flat out stink.
    Prompt 329: "Irene Robinson and Bradley Nuemann met while she is searching for a long-lost relative. One of them is a loner."
    Prompt 238: "Use this cliche anywhere in your story: growing like a weed"
    Forgive my condescension here.

    Yet there are some good ideas to be had (as you point out) and some that can be effectively modified. When I checked out the site the first time, being in a rush, i only looked at a couple and then fled away. If I had read your post before, I might have given it some more time, despite my time pinch.