Friday, January 28, 2011

TGIF: Writing Prompts for a Cold Winter Day

Seems to be a quiet weekend coming up in greater North Idaho. It might be a good time to stoke a cheerful fire or light some candles, settle in with a notebook and pen, and do a bit of scribbling. Here are a few writing prompts to get you going:

*Randomly choose a newspaper headline, clip it out, and dispose of the accompanying story without reading it. Write a short fiction piece using the selected headline as the title.

*Turn on the TV and watch a few minutes of the first program that you see--with the volume off. What are the characters saying? You fill in the dialogue.

*Leaf through an old magazine and choose a picture of any person. Write a description of what it might be like to be the son, daughter, parent, or sibling of that person.

If cabin fever strikes, venture out of the house and go see an American classic. Lake City Playhouse is presenting John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Lake City Playhouse, 1320 E. Garden Ave., Coeur d'Alene (208-667-1323).

Afterward, read the book and think about how the playwright translated the novel to a stage play. Is that something you'd like to try with one of your favorite novels?

Happy weekend! Stay warm.


Jessie Gunderson said...

Looks like I'll have to work harder to stay dry than warm this weekend. Boo...rain and mud!

I like these ideas. I think I'll use one of them for my kids' creative writing prompts this next week.

As for ME setting aside time; does anyone else find it hard to stop the forward momentum of a current wip to do even the best of the practice prompts? I think, "Oh but I can't, I've got to get further on my own project." I should knock that off, practice is imperative.

Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

Sometimes I use a writing prompt at the beginning of a writing session, just to prime the pump, especially when I can't seem to get started on my current wip. I figure it's better to work on a prompt than to stare at a blank screen. However, if I'm all set to go on the wip, I don't bother with a prompt.

Once in a great while, a prompt sparks some idea to use in the wip--a character quirk, a plot twist, a setting tidbit. But more often it's just a warm-up, like running laps before the game.

Norm de Ploom said...

First of all, it took me 2 hours to figure out what a “wip” was! I have never used a writing prompt because when I finally sit down to write, I have the idea for the research or have done the research and am ready to write. I think I will try one and see if it helps.

Jessie Gunderson said...

Oops sorry Norm. I tend to be a research junkie too so when I sit down I'm full of ideas. Sometimes too many to sort through even.