Using Writing Prompts

Last time, I spoke about how I was dealing with a dry spell in my writing. Well, that suddenly changed and you might be asking how did my situation change? The solution is by using a writing prompt. Or in my case, I created a prompt of my own. Yes, you could say that I was inspired or rather compelled to write based on a prompt.

The prompt in question came from a recent trailer for an episode of Shonda Rhime’s latest television spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19. The trailer starts with a line that goes something like:

“At the end of a funeral, someone will ring twenty bells.”

From the moment I heard this line, I was hooked. My mind was racing with ideas and it started my latest story idea and so far I’m over five thousand words into the first draft. Therefore, you might say that I found a spark that I have latched onto and it is working.

Finding a working spark at times it all it takes for us writers to get our creative juices flowing, and in order to get it working for us is to find that inspiration. Sometimes, finding the inspiration that works can come from a prompt of any sort. It could be a simple line from a television promo, a line of dialog, a picture, or even a simple writing prompt that we find either online or in one of our numerous writing guides. Wherever the prompt may come from if it gives your writing wings then let that baby soar and ride it out as far as you can.

Furthermore, take note that sometimes we writers need or rather can use a prompt to give our writing a gentle nudge or a giant push. In my case, the working prompt that I’m using gave me a giant push to get me out of my rut, and I’m happy that I found something that is working.

Granted, on this project, I have not given it a titled or really jotted down any notes, for you might say that I’m flying by the seat of my pants. Now, granted this where the discussion of being a plotter or a pantser comes into play; however, there are times when you have to say screw being a plotter and just go with the flow of being a pantser. Now, when it comes to the second draft, if something is missing from that first draft then you can start plotting what is missing to improve that initial draft. But if you have hit a hard rut, sometimes being a pantser to get you out of that rut can be both creative and rewarding.

But of course we are only talking about working on that initial first draft, not the other drafts that may or will come into play after the fact. Granted, just looking at getting out of the rut in the first place, is the biggest challenge. Just like a hero must make the choice to accept the call, we writers can take that same piece of advice with what we are given. If we ignore that call then we might lose out on what could possibly one of the best stories that we could possibly write. Sometimes, we just have to take the same piece of allowances that we give our characters and apply it to our writing.

Sometimes, we will find not only archetypes in the presence of our characters, but in our writing as well. Furthermore, we have to understand as writers what we are working with and what we are also facing in our writing to work with what we are being given. In my current, case I know that I was given a wonderful gift from one simple line that came from a television promo, and my lovely muse is enjoying the freedom to play and based on that play time is feeding me information. Therefore, I’m not wasting the gift that has been presented to me and am writing and working on my first draft.

It’s a wonderful thing for us writers when we find that one spark that allows us to set our writing on fire and our fingers to be set free across the keyboard. Therefore, on that note I will allow you get back to whatever project you are currently working on.

I hope that you all have a wonderful writing day! Happy writing and happy creating until next time.

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