Writing Prompts

64 articles found

Pipe dreams

“The smell of the moldy sponge clung to her hands. She sighed over the sink, dreaming of the place she would go when she left this town.” Create a character and a story with this line. Where is this woman working? What are her future aspirations? How do these aspirations reflect her nature?

Published: September 27, 2013

On the road

At that moment, she realized her only option was to pack up her old sedan and hit the road. Use this line as the beginning or end of a story. Why does this character have to leave? Where does she go? What does she take with her? Why?

Published: September 20, 2013

Suit yourself

You’re walking through the woods when you come across a suitcase. Describe it. What is inside? Who does it belong to? How did it get there?

By Hillary Casavant | Published: September 13, 2013

5 minutes of fame

Try this approach next time you need an idea for a memoir or personal essay: Pretend you’re standing before a packed stadium, spotlight directed on you. You have one chance and five minutes to share your personal story. What is the story you would most want to tell? What is the story you would never …

Published: September 6, 2013

Literally

Our language is filled with idioms, phrases which have definitions different from their literal meanings. Clichés such as “at the drop of a hat,” “take the words out of your mouth” and “kick the bucket” creep unnoticed in our writing and everyday speech. Write a story or paragraph in which a character or scene literally …

By Hillary Casavant | Published: August 23, 2013

Sea and fog

You wake up on the deck of an empty boat. The boat is adrift, and you’re surrounded by fog. You check your pockets. No cellphone and the navigation equipment is broken. How did you get there? How do you get out? Share your writing in the comments section below. Please keep posts under 500 words.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: August 16, 2013

Twitter chatter

Take a cue from Twitter and write a story in 140 characters or less. How does the space restriction tighten your writing or convey a message? For inspiration, start with this classic, which tells a complete story in just 33 characters: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Once you’ve whittled your story down to the …

Published: August 9, 2013

Photographic memory

Home from your vacation, you flip through the photos on your camera. As you pass a picture of a busy street, something catches your eye, something you didn’t see at the time. You slowly zoom in on a face in the crowd. When the image focuses, you gasp, dropping the camera to the floor. Who …

By Hillary Casavant | Published: August 2, 2013

World of words

Got writer’s block? Step outside with a pen and notebook and find the words you’re missing. Keep your eyes peeled for a sidewalk message, a graffiti-covered wall or an abandoned sign. Once you see a word, make a list of all the emotions and images the word inspires. Use the word as a title of …

By Hillary Casavant | Published: July 26, 2013

Fashion passion

“Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”—Marilyn Monroe Give an unusual piece of clothing or unique accessory to a character. How does this item reflect his personality? Does it change her persona? Use fashion to symbolize a nuance in the character’s identity.

By Hillary Casavant | Published: July 19, 2013