I have been in some amazing and some ridiculously awkward situations involving language in my life. For the writer, language is both a way to express him or herself through art and a way to make a living. For the comedian, it is a way to craft jokes with the greatest of ease. For the social butterfly, it is a way to make connections and to impress people. These free creative writing prompts about language can help you to explore all the different ways that language has affected you and how it can influence your writing. Enjoy!
Free Creative Writing Prompts: Language
1. Some people say that French is the language of love. Some say it's Italian. What would be the language you would choose and why? Write a story in which a person who speaks that languange comes up to you and sweeps you off your feet.
2. Talk about a time where you were especially tongue tied and it got in your way socially. You just couldn't get out the words that you wanted. If this has never happened to you, create a story in which this occurs during a particularly important social situation.
3. How important is your mastery of your primary language? Do you use it to be social, to be funny, to be suave? What would happen if you no longer had the skill for such nuances? Write a hypothetical story in which this is the case.
4. Create a story in which you are in love with somebody who either does not speak your language or cannot speak it very well. How do you communicate and what do you try to learn from this person's language?
5. You are in a different country from your own and you only sort of speak the language there. Describe one of your days from top to bottom trying to shop, get directions, etc.
6. If you could pick 5 languages to learn, what would they be and why? How would you go about learning them and what would you do as soon as you knew them?
7. You are tutoring a student in your native language. How do you go about it and how do you explain such things as idiomatic phrases and the strange rules. Is it difficult?
8. You have a son who has just come home spouting every curse word you've ever heard in your life (and some you weren't even aware of). How do you explain to your son the context of these words and why he should use them sparingly (or not at all).
9. Talk about an experience in which you had to use your vague experience with a language (like one you slightly learned in high school) in order to get through a situation. Perhaps you played (bad) translator to a friend at a store or in an argument? Make a situation up if you don't have one.
10. Watch a half hour of television in another language. Then write a humorous recap of the episode making wild guesses for what the characters are talking about throughout.
I love traveling to other countries and getting a sample of the way people speak and interact there. It is so cool to be a part of that and to learn several different languages yourself. These free creative writing prompts about language may encourage you to go out and buy a copy of Rosetta Stone so that you can truly experience how a new language can affect your writing. Or, it may just make you relive some interesting memories of language in your own time. Either way, happy writing!
Bonus Prompt - You have been forced by an evil magician to give up your language completely (can't speak it or understand when it's spoken to you) and to be given another language entirely. What do you choose?
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.