Today, I am turning my blog over to Nikolas Baron of Grammarly with a post that should appeal to writers. Whether you’ve hit a dry spell or are just looking to flex your creative muscle, I think you’ll find Nikolas’ post intriguing.
The Best Creative Writing Prompts from the Internet
In theater, the prompt saves millions of careers with just a few whispered words. A prompt is a person whose job it is to feed lines to actors when they forget. Without this individual, the actor might never remember the forgotten line, resulting in embarrassment for the theater company. Writers also need prompts. In the literary world, the term refers to written cues rather than to an individual. Prompts provide the inspiration, and writers can use the idea as a jumping off point for creativity. Do you need prompting? At Grammarly, the writers that I have come in contact with say that they need a spark from time to time to light the fire of creativity. I like to study the strategies and tools that writers use to be successful, so I decided that it was time to sift through the millions of writing prompt websites on the Web. Here are some of the best.
Let’s start with sheer number. This website had 346 writing prompts. The prompt labeled #2 asks you to choose the fourteenth photograph from a photo album and write about how it makes you feel. I like this one because it forces you to randomize your selection. We naturally gravitate to certain photographs when we flip through our photo collection- standout events in our lives, good times, or smiling faces. However, who knows what is captured in mysterious photograph 14? Find out, and write about it!
This website wins my personal prize for best organized. Though the website features only science fiction prompts, the 1001 ideas are categorized into parts. There are 17 parts, so you are covered from the apocalypse to “Zombies, werewolves, vampires, and other monsters.” If 1001 isn’t enough, there are a few more worthy sci-fi writing prompts found here.
If you like to have prompts available at all times, you might enjoy Writing.com’s Writing Prompts app for Android. You can use app to generate your own randomized prompts. I have not used it personally, but it may be worth a gamble at $1.99.
This set of cues is targeted to non-fiction writers. However, the prompts are so amusing that fiction writers often get a kick out of them. They are also adaptable. For example, one prompt published on the site encourages you to think about this question:
“What is [your product]’s drug of choice? Write about a night where something goes wrong with its dose and it’s dragged through the pits of its own internal hell, afraid to die but more afraid to be found out and branded for life.”
You could have fun answering this questions for the products in your own home, or simply replace “[your product]” with the name of one of your characters.
This is not a website about prompts. This is a picture within a picture within a picture….!
The reason that I included this photograph was to introduce a cool idea for a writing prompt. First, as an exercise you can generate several prompts. That’s right; the prompt is to write some prompts! After you do that, you can use the prompts that you wrote as writing prompts. It is a prompt within a prompt!
The Internet is a great source for all types of writing tools for writers. You can find online proof reading, dictionaries, writing clubs, and much more. Why not explore the Web today and see what you find? You can create a file of useful websites for future reference. Do not forget to create a file of writing prompts that are sure to bring you inspiration!
Nikolas discovered his love for the written word in Elementary School, where he started spending his afternoons sprawled across the living room floor devouring one Marc Brown children’s novel after the other and writing short stories about daring pirate adventures. After acquiring some experience in various marketing, business development, and hiring roles at internet startups in a few different countries, he decided to re-unite his professional life with his childhood passions by joining Grammarly’s marketing team in San Francisco. He has the pleasure of being tasked with talking to writers, bloggers, teachers, and others about how they use Grammarly’s online proofreading application to improve their writing. His free time is spent biking, traveling, and reading.
Thanks for sharing the links! 🙂 Always useful to have somewhere to turn to when in a bit of a funk in writing.
Glad you found them useful. Thanks for visiting!
Thanks for those suggestions. As you know I write to prompt.
currently my fav site is this
the one I try to do weekly is a prompt that must be answered in 42 words.
But they also have prompts for longer stories.
Many people shun prompt writing as beneath them for some reason. However focusing on a prompt is good exercise for the brain, one never knows what will come out of it and it can generate ideas for longer works.
so thanks again
Hi, Sue. Thanks for sharing. I know you love prompt writing and appreciate the other link you shared. I used to do one a week and always enjoyed those short bursts of creativity.
I had no idea there were so many prompt places online! Two of my novellas are the result of writing prompt exercises, and I’m not sure I would have written the stories if I hadn’t been inspired by those prompts. Also, my brain tends to “prompt” me with things it sees or hears, and then it adds the good ole “what if” prompt — and things take off from there!
How intriguing that two of your novellas came from writing prompts! I have a small snippet tucked away that I’ve always entertained expanding into a novella and that was the result of a writing prompt. It’s amazing the creativity they can inspire. I have a few apps on my iPad with prompts but never get the time to play with them. One of these days . . . 😉
Donna – thanks for validating the value of prompts – and Mae – prompts can be time consuming
I like the idea of finding a random photograph and writing something based on that. It’s a good exercise.
That used to be my weekly writing prompt – – on L.J.’s blog 🙂
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This is a really interesting post. Thanks so much! I’ve shared it.
Great! Thanks for sharing, Flossie 🙂
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