Tag Archives: writing prompts

Got Writing Prompts?

4 May

by Julie Eshbaugh

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There seems to be an on-going debate about the existence of writer’s block. Whether you believe in writer’s block as a full-blown phenomenon or see it as another way of describing “writer’s fatigue” or “writer’s fear” or even “writer’s laziness,” there are a few established methods of treating it. One of those methods is writing from prompts.
Prompts give you a chance to write based on an assignment, so you can worry less about getting it “wrong.” With a prompt, you just write. At the very least, it gets you putting words on paper in a very non-threatening way. And if everything comes together and magic is in the air, the right prompt might stimulate the right ideas, and you might find the seed of your next novel hidden in that free-write.
So here are some fun prompts. Each one combines an image and a scenario. You can stick with the suggested situation, (if you want to become a more disciplined writer, perhaps,) or you can just let your imagination run wild. It’s up to you. Have fun. Stretch your creative muscles.  And if you feel particularly inspired, please share your ideas in the comments.

Ready? Set… write!

You drive home. The day has been uneventful. But when you reach your neighborhood, you find everyone outside, and they are all looking at something. Look at the photo below and tell the story.


(Photo from http://www.danheller.com)

You have just signed up for a cooking class. You arrive at your first lesson, only to find the teacher being taken away by police. Inside, you learn that during his arrest, the police failed to find some contraband that they were looking for. A classmate presents a small container the teacher entrusted to him just as the police arrived. Tell the story.

(Photo still from the Korean drama KING OF BAKING)

It is present day, 2011. A note is left in your front door from your new neighbor, inviting you to stop over and introduce yourself. You go to the house next door and enter the scene below. Tell the woman’s story.

(Photo by the Los Angeles Times)

And I’ll leave you with this one…

You are driving to the airport when your GPS begins to malfunction. After a few turns that are clearly wrong, you begin to try to find your way home, but the road grows narrower and narrower. Eventually, you find yourself in the scene below. What happens next?

(photo from http://www.berro.com)

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Julie Eshbaugh is represented by Natalie Fischer of the Bradford Literary Agency. You can read her blog here and find her on Twitter here.

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