Feeling Stuck? Try These Writing Prompts!

Sometimes all it takes is a little boost to get your creativity in gear. Next time you're in a writing rut, here are some prompts to try:

• Write down a memory of a time you had a conflict with someone else. This could be with a significant other, child, sibling, parent, friend, or any other conflict that comes to mind. Now, write the same scene again, but this time from the point of view of the other person.

• Pick one ordinary household object. It can be anything: an egg timer, a reading lamp, a vacuum, a blender. Next, imagine a world in which that object is unknown. Create a character that stumbles onto this object and try to describe it in a new way, as they would view it. See where the story takes you.

• Have you ever read a book or seen a movie and wondered what happened to the characters after it was over, or before it started? Now is your chance to find out, because YOU are going to write it yourself!

• Write a song about ... well, about anything you want! Set it to the tune of your favorite song, or make up your own tune.

• What if something out of the ordinary happened on an ordinary day? What if it snowed in Vegas? What if a 2-ton whale washed up on the beach? What if a family with eight children moved in next door?

Dallas Woodburn is the author of two award-winning collections of short stories and editor of the new anthology Dancing With The Pen: a collection of today's best youth writing. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Dzanc Books "Best of the Web" anthology and has appeared in many publications including Monkeybicycle, Arcadia Journal, and Diverse Voices Quarterly. She has also published 70+ articles and essays in outlets including Family Circle, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, The Los Angeles Times, and more than a dozen Chicken Soup for the Soul series books. Dallas is the founder of Write On! For Literacy, a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and teens through reading and writing. She frequently teaches creative writing workshops, mentors young writers and artists, and organizes an annual Holiday Book Drive that has donated more than 12,000 new books to underprivileged and at-risk youth. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction from Purdue University, where she also teaches undergraduate writing courses and serves as Assistant Fiction Editor of Sycamore Review. Her website is www.writeonbooks.org and she frequently posts writing prompts, articles, and interviews with writers at her blog: http://dallaswoodburn.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @DallasWoodburn and @WriteOnBooks.


Nancy Famolari said...

Good suggestions, Dallas!

Magdalena Ball said...

Creative prompts, Dallas. I particularly like the first one as conflict is at the heart of all good writing.

Karen Cioffi said...

Dallas, what great prompts. It's funny that I always think of airplanes, living so close to Kennedy Airport, and what someone from the past would think if he saw one flying above.

Karen Cioffi Writing and Marketing

Donna McDine said...


Thanks for the wonderful prompts. I've copied them into my jog your brain folder.

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