Thursday 13: Thirteen Prompts

The Evanston Writers Workshop holds Prompt Group sessions every second and fourth Wednesday at the Barnes and Noble in Evanston. While you could certainly join us, I figured I’d feature a mini-session for today’s Thursday 13: thirteen writing prompts to prime the pump and get you moving. If you decide to try one or two (or all!), please link to the result in the comments so I can come visit and see!

1. You are a middle-aged woman, dressed in black, walking in New York’s Central Park at six o’clock in the evening on a Sunday. Who are you, and what are you doing?

2. Go to your bathroom and find something scented: soap, bubble bath, cologne or perfume. Take it back to your desk or wherever you write. Close your eyes and inhale the scent. Then write.

3. Try a picture prompt. You can go to Google Images and look up random things, or use this one as a starter:

4. Try using prompt cards: take 6 settings, 6 plot ideas, and 6 characters, shuffle each set and pick one of each. Then write about the combination.

5. Setting: desert. Plot: betrayal. Character: Charlotte, 33, hairdresser.

6. Go to Pandora dot com and enter the name of a band you don’t often listen to, but that a character might. Listen to the resulting station and write a story with your character.

7. Open a book at random, and pick the first sentence on the left page. Write that sentence on your paper or type it into your word processor and write for 500 words.

8. “Martin never thought he’d see the day when…” and keep going.

9. Take a short story or flash that you’ve written and rewrite it, from the perspective of another character or with a different type of ‘feel.’ Example: if it’s a romance, write it as a spy story; if it has a happy ending, change it to a murder.

10. Rewrite a story from the Bible. Old Testament ones are interesting: try the story of Ruth or maybe the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah.

11. Rewrite a modern story that you like (this one is tricky, because it can be plagiarism if you mimic word for word, but I’m speaking more of using something as a model and creating your own story from it). Example: Star Wars is about a young man, coming of age, on a hero’s journey. For your story, set that same saga somewhere else, like a young police officer in modern-day New York…

12. Tell a story from the point of view of your pet. Make it serious, not a parody. Make the setting without humans.

13. Write a story without a sense: sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, something. Don’t use that sense at all in description. Bonus points if you eliminate one that you use all the time: if your characters are usually very visual, then eliminate that and describe everything by sound and touch.

~Happy TT!~

19 Replies to “Thursday 13: Thirteen Prompts”

  1. Great prompts! Though the last one… I do that involuntarily sometimes. Without all the senses actually. And it’s NOT pretty!

    It was a long time since I did anything like this, though I used to make prompt card boxes for friends as gifts. I don’t think ANYONE used them, though. Too few writers in my life!

  2. That will teach me to preview before I post, LOL! I meant THOSE, of course. I was so worried about spelling “constipated” correctly and not screwing up the word verification…

  3. I refuse to read this right now lol My muse is hard enough to keep in line and I really need to focus on what I am writing. What a great idea for a meeting of minds.
    I promise I will come back and read it one of these days *wink
    Happy T13!

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve used writing prompts. May come back when it doesn’t feel like I have a migraine coming on. I sent a journaling jar I made, along with a new blank book, to a friend one year for Christmas and she loved it – but it certainly wouldn’t work for everyone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.