3 Writing Prompts

Wednesday, June 22, 2022
I was skimming one of the writing books from my shelf, Pen on Fire by Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, and came across some timed writing ideas. It always feels good to have a few more writing prompts to choose from when you need one! Here are three interesting ideas from the book that you may want to try.

1. Poetry line

“Take a poem from a book of poetry [or anywhere], and pick one line.

Write that line down. Now, build a scene around it. Freewrite for fifteen minutes, using that line as a prompt.”

(You could also use the line as a prompt for a journal entry, an essay or your own poem.)

2. Crisis

“Do you have a list in your notebook headed ‘Crisis’? If not, make that list now,” DeMarco-Barrett writes. “Crisis you survived. That winter you learned your brother had stolen all of your mother’s money. Hearing the diagnosis—autism—for your firstborn. When you learned the reason the credit cards were maxed out was because your husband had been…”

Pick one and write about it in as much detail as you can. Begin in the middle of things. Don’t resort to summary; don’t tell us what happened—show us.”

Another option she offers is to do this with fictional characters. 

3. Location Variety

“Try altering your routine to see what happens. Every day for a week spend 15 minutes writing in a different location. Write at a desk, on the couch, on the bathroom floor, at the park, at a restaurant, or on a bus. Write sitting on a chair, standing up, lying down. Write and bright light, low light, blue light. Experiment. See what works for you. In the meantime, you will have collected pages. And that is a very good thing.”

Let's get writing! 

--Marcia Peterson


Angela Mackintosh said...

These are great, Marcia! I use the poetry one all the time as a jumpstart. I pick a fragment from a poem, the first half of a line, then use that as a way in. It works! The location one works, too, and I enjoy writing on my phone when outside.

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

Love the idea of writing in a different location every day. I've done this and am always amazed at how differently ideas/words/sensory perceptions flow in different locations.

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