Writing prompts

Writing prompts are so cool.

Sometimes a good writing prompt can help warm up your writing muscles, or force you to think about a topic in a new way. I like the ways I can respond–although I write prose, sometimes I found myself responding in poetry.

The best thing for me is when a writing prompt leads to a story or a new way to look at your story. One time I had a whole novel grow out of a writing teacher’s instructions to write a page of conversation, all dialogue. When NaNoWriMo came along that year, that page grew into a whole novel! I also like to respond to a prompt from the perspective of one of my minor characters.

This book in particular has been great for writing prompts in my own growth as a writer:

So can we try it? Will you do it with me? If I post a prompt, will you quick-write (10 minutes or less, firm!) into the comments? Please?

Here’s a prompt:  SAYING GOODBYE

Here’s mine:

Saying goodbye (time: at least five minutes)

Lisa: Okay, guys, I’ve got to go.

H: Mommmmmeeeeeee! You didn’t give me a hug!

L: You didn’t give me one either!

Lisa: I gave you both hugs already. But come quickly and I can give you another one.

H: Don’t go yet.

Lisa: I have to. I need to go to work.

H: Why?

Lisa: Well, would you like it if you got to school and your teacher weren’t there yet?

H: But don’t you want to see my picture?

L: Wait, just listen to my piano piece.

Lisa: No, really, guys. I’m sorry. I’ll see you this afternoon. I love you.

H: Kissy?

Lisa: Okay, kissy. Have fun at swimming.

H: I love you Mama.

L: Bye, Mom.

Lisa: Oh, wait! You didn’t pack your library book. Oh, and B—can you make sure she takes her recorder?

B: Yeah.

Lisa: Bye, everyone.

H: I love you, Mama!


4 responses to “Writing prompts

  1. Ok, fine. 😛

    His departure from her life was both sudden and gradual, and not unexpected either way. One day he stopped calling. A month later he stopped chatting online. And then a few months after that he stopped responding to emails and messages at all.

    Maybe the gradual bit was her part in it, because even though she’d seen it coming, saw it before anything between them even started, she held on. Two years later, she was still holding on.

    Except tonight she realized that she wasn’t. Not anymore. Staring at his picture, like she did every day, it occurred to her that she didn’t want to see him anymore. That if he actually wanted to talk, she had nothing to say. That if he wanted to see her, she’d just sit there and think about other things, like laundry and when her library books were due back.

    She was well aware that she wasn’t ready to be with anyone else, not yet, but when she probed the wounds he’d left, she found that they didn’t sting. They’d scarred over.

    “Goodbye,” she whispered as she tore his picture in half and threw it away.

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