How to Use Writing Prompts



Learning how to use writing prompts can improve how quickly you are able to start your writing sessions. One of the reasons I started one of the largest collections of creative writing prompts on the web was because of a scene I saw in the movie Finding Forrester. In that movie, a reclusive writer in the mold of J.D. Salinger teaches a teen from streets about the craft of writing. He gives the teen a passage from his own work to use as a prompt to spur the teen into thinking creatively on his own. I thought that it was such a great idea at the time and years later I began writing my own prompts.

When you're attempt to learn how to use writing prompts, the best first step is to set aside some time for yourself to write, at least half an hour. This is because writing prompts are used to put your mind in a more creative state. If you only have five minutes, you might limit how much you are able to take advantage of everything the writing prompt makes you think of. This is not the biggest problem in the world, as your brain's creativity is actually quite limitless, but when you're having difficulty with writers block, you need to use every moment you can to snap yourself out of it.

The next step in how to use writing prompts is to get a collection of prompts ready for yourself. Since the first one might not spur any ideas, you should have a few at the ready. There are plenty of prompts on this website and if you'd like 1,000 of them, check out my book 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More. Read the prompt in your head or out loud to yourself. An example of a prompt might be: Think back to the most important moment of your childhood that formed the kind of person you are today. Write about how things would have changed if something different had occurred in that very instant. The most important thing to do at this point in the process is to write down the first thing that comes to your mind.

I've always looked at writing prompts like the beginning of an improv comedy scene. If you think too much, you'll get tripped up with the details and the audience will get bored. It's best for your brain to just let the writing prompt create a spark and to write as much as you can from it. Your writing is a train of thought and the only thing that can stop it is you. Keep writing from the prompt until you can't write anymore. Once you get to that point, read over what you've already written and use that as a prompt to keep you going even longer. At another stopping point, look back over what you've written since the last stoppage and repeat as many times as you can until you have to stop for the day.

If you can figure out how to use writing prompts during your own sessions, you may become a much more productive author on a day-to-day basis. Give your creativity a boost and try some writing prompts today.

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