Prompt-writing is one of the best tools for fiction writers. Period.
You’ll find various definitions for it on the internet, but for me, it is simply what the name suggests:
A topic around which a short piece of fiction is written promptly.
Generally, the said piece of fiction is in the range of 100-1000 words and you don’t think about it and work on it for days or even hours. You simply look at the topic (whatever form it is in) and write, generally within a set limit of time, say half an hour or an hour. You can revise or edit it later on, but the main part is written promptly. And that is what prompt-writing is really about.
When I say a piece of fiction it can be a scene, a story or an anecdote – it can be anything. Though it needs to be a complete unit in itself, with a beginning, a middle and an ending.
Prompt-writing is great for writing random pieces of fiction, which may or may not be used in your larger fiction works depending on how developable they may be.
It is very similar to Freewriting, but the difference is that in Prompt-Writing a prompt is used to kick-start the imagination and serves as the basis for the writing. But in Freewriting, there are simply no limits, neither of words nor of topics (that is if you are doing a timed Freewriting session.)
It is an absolutely amazing tool for fiction writers because it cures the “blank page syndrome” as well as helps you in maintaining a daily writing habit.
The topics, usually referred to as prompts, can be of different types:
- Word Prompts
- Sentence Prompts
- Title Prompts
- Memory Prompts
- Photo Prompts
- Scene Prompts
- POV prompts
- Dialogue Prompts
- Setting Prompts
- Character Prompts
- Theme Prompts
- Object Prompts
The list is endless…
You can find the prompts online, or create ones for yourself (like I have done) or you can either participate in groups or subscribe to websites who share monthly or weekly prompts such as:
- BlogBattle – I used to participate in this after Describli converted into Reedsy. I’ve written many pieces for this amazing prompt battle and Rachel, the creator of the BlogBattle is my long-time blog-buddy. So do check this out!
- Reedsy Prompts
- Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts
- Think Written’s 365 Creative Writing Prompts
- Written Word Media’s 500 Writing Prompts to Help Beat Writer’s Block
- WordPress’s The Daily Post – Daily Prompts – They’ve stopped updating these since May 2020, but they have a LOT of daily prompts in their archives, so do check them out.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on Prompt-Writing int he comments below. Suggestions, comments and nuggets of information are all welcome!
Here are some of my own Prompt-Writing pieces:
- A Winter Morning
- Annihilation (Annihilation #1)
- The Next Worst Thing (Annihilation #2)
- Game Night
- Weep A While Longer
- A Lost Memory (BB #1)
- Trying To Get Home
- Free- After A Long Time
- Little Black Hockey
- Reading Her Mind
- Wrong Turn
- Baking A Pie (Jessie #1)
- Ruined Dreams (Jessie #2)
- The Sting (Jessie #3)
- Autumn (Jessie #4)
- Evening Tea (Jessie #5)
So what are you waiting for? Get started with prompt writing today itself and see where it takes you!