First, a shout out to Luke Neff at the great writing prompts tumblr blog. We pretty much use his awesome visual writing prompts every time. Here's one of our favorites from a few months ago:
Writing prompts are a lifesaver, and here's why: everyone is intimidated by a blank page. Everyone. Whether you're working on a report for school, or updating your fashion blog, or starting the next chapter in your fantasy novel, there's often this moment where you're staring at the page, thinking "what do I say?" Writing prompts give you something to write about, even if the prompt has absolutely nothing to do with what you really sat down to write. And the crazy thing is, they sort of work! While your brain is busy toiling away on the prompt, it's not uncommon for two or three ideas for your real project to pop into your head. They also give you practice in thinking creatively, honing your descriptive writing chops, and they're fun!
Here's what else happened at the meeting...
We did a verbal writing prompt, which was also really useful. This one, from Creative Writing Help, gives you the first few lines and the rest is up to you: "Thunder clapped against the sky. The girl shuddered. She knew something was out there in the night. Something that shouldn't be."
Spooky fun, right? And while I couldn't get anyone to agree to posting their stories on the blog, some of you asked for a copy of my silly effort, so here it is:
Thunder clapped against the sky. The girl shuddered. She knew something was out there in the night. Something that shouldn't be. She tried not to think of its softly feathered hair, it's love for Instagram selfies, or its way of saying "baby, baby, baby."
If I don't think about it, maybe it will just go away, she decided. But just as she started to relax, she heard it, scuffling up the stairs to the front door. She held her breath. There was a pause that felt like eternity. And then a little knock. Why? she wailed silently. Why won't it leave me alone? The cloyingly sweet scent of guy body spray wafted under the door. "Fine," she said out loud, stomping down the stairs to face that which she feared most. She took a deep breath, then flung open the door. Of course. There he was. She knew the only way to get rid of demons was to address them directly. She held her voice steady and said:
"Justin Bieber, get off my porch."