Writing Prompts Published on the Blog so far (Click Links):

TITLE                                                                                                        CATEGORY

4. Pivot of Success                                                                                     Subtext

3. Red Sands of Amsterdam                                                                    Dialogue

2. Chaos on a Big Scale                                                                             Realism, Atmosphere

1. Puppy in Distress                                                                                   Plot


Here is your weekly writing prompt: Write your grocery list. Write it again next week.

It almost reads like a poem, doesn’t it?

Bread. Tomatoes. 2 x Orange juice. Pasta.

But contrary to what some might think, your grocery list is no writing prompt, because it doesn’t challenge you in a fashion specific enough so you can learn from it.

This is what a writing prompt should be: An exercise, designed to make you put your best foot forward and meet precise requirements. It should force you to step up in a clearly defined way.

It should not just be you and your keyboard, happily typing away and in the end throwing the result into the bin.

Instead, it has to be like a riddle that needs to be resolved, requiring a certain outcome.

Most writing prompts are like “Good evening, boys and girls! Today, start a story with the words “Johnny walked into the flowerbed.” Be careful. Thank you.”

CharacterisationThat doesn’t help you much, because it’s not specific enough.

If you want to get better at something, you need to practice it in a way that makes it possible to measure how well you have done, so you can see where you already shine and where you could shine a little brighter.

Take the example above: “Johnny walked into the flowerbed.” doesn’t give you a specific goal.

Should you try to let a well-rounded character come alive?

Should you develop a plot with interesting twists and turns?

Is it about style?

If yes, which style should it be – easy to read? Creatively overflowing?

Without setting specific goals, there is no way to see whether you have done well or not and therefore you can’t take many lessons with you.

But what if your exercise read “Johnny is walking into a flowerbed. Describe the scene from his point of view and include what he is experiencing through his senses. Let us know about Johnny’s personality solely by the way he experiences things, how he is reacting and what he is thinking.”

Can you see how all of a sudden the exercise got a lot more specific and therefore more demanding?

Now you will have to be smart about it, and therefore you will grow grow your storytelling muscles massively!


How to Get the Maximum Advantage out of Writing Prompts

Here is how you ensure you will learn most when doing a writing exercise:

  1. Do as many writing prompts as possible: Write, write, write! Like with any other skill, the key to getting better is practice – that’s why this blog is focused so heavily on supporting you by making you DO IT! There is no magic pill and no tooth fairy (if there was a tooth fairy, most people would be running around with artificial teeth).
  1. Sit down in quiet: Read the exact description of the prompt. Then create a little bubble of time for yourself and sit down in quiet, free of distractions. Write.
  1. Get feedback: Ask friends or family who read fiction (or even better: who write) and whom you trust to give you their honest opinion. Post your writing prompts on the interwebs to get opinions. The comment sections below our articles are ideal to receive funky feedback from fellow fiction writers and from me.
  1. Do it again:It would be ideal to do the whole exercise again, so what you just learned gets re-enforced in your synapses. Do it, get your feedback, do it again, this time mindful of what you want to change.

On our blog, each prompt comes at the end of an in-depth article. The article first explains the idea in detail, then shows you how a famous author (e.g. Shakespeare or Kafka) used it in his writings. This way, you don’t just hear detached theoretical talk, but you actually see the idea applied in action by an absolute master! In the end, you can do the prompt to make it even more hands-on .



Writing Prompts Published on the Blog so far (Click Links):

TITLE                                                                                                        CATEGORY

3. Red Sands of Amsterdam                                                                    Dialogue

2. Chaos on a Big Scale                                                                            Realism, Atmosphere

1. Puppy in Distress                                                                                  Plot

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