We all have faced writing prompts at some point in our writing careers/lives, and let me start by saying that they can be a useful tool and sometimes its a great way to get things started when you are stuck on what to write. I’ve used prompts sometimes but for the most part I go off of ideas that have come to my head, which we can also think of as prompts as well. The greatest prompt that I heard yesterday was writing about an old man who is actually God.
This got me to think of all the different possibilities about the story would go to where the man would have to reveal that is not just a mortal man but is actually God. This could go so many different ways, but the question is not just how would I tell the story but how would you tell the story?
That is the great thing about prompts in that we know, or should know, that every writer is different and therefore they can take a prompt in so many different ways. Prompts are tools that can be not only useful but can also be effective. Prompts start out as a simple idea or phrase and if the writer really thinks about it they can make that idea grow. Also if they are really dedicated to that prompt or idea they can stick with it and turn it into a short story, a novella, or even a novel from that simple prompt.
The purpose behind prompts to is engage your mind, but to also make you write without thinking about it. Prompts should make your writing natural and free-flowing. That is what I like about prompts, for they should be used for free writing. When we free write we are not thinking for we are just writing. Granted, some of the weirdest stuff can come from free writing, but also that weird stuff can turn into brilliant, and beautiful stuff.
If you haven’t lately find a prompt and write about if for 20 or 30 minutes. If you like what you wrote keep at it, but if you don’t like what you wrote you can discard, but don’t throw it away. Let your mind think about it, and maybe you will want to redo the exercise with the same prompt or you might improved what you wrote. But keep on writing until you find something that works.
I hope that you have a great day of writing as you find helpful ways to get through your writing!