Welcome to the last Author Toolbox post of 2019!
Previously I’ve written about writer’s block, and how free-writing to random prompts can help break it. But where do you find these mysterious prompts? This month I’ll share my favourite writing prompt resources. For anyone doing Nanowrimo, they may help if you get stuck!
1) Random Word Generators:
Does what it says on the tin. There are websites, like Random Word.com, which provide a random new word with each refresh.
There’s a definition below the word too: Not only is it a great way to get writing prompts, it also helps you learn new words!
2) Story Cubes:
Story cubes are great fun. Each dice has 6 pictures on it, and there are 9 dice in a set. Roll all 9, and pick 3 dice for the beginning of your story, 3 for the middle, and 3 for the end. If you’re stuck they’re a great way to think of new stories or directions for your plot.
There are also free mobile apps. Story Dice is pretty good, and the adverts aren’t too intrusive!
3) Hashtag Games on Twitter:
There are so many writing prompt hashtag games on Twitter. Luckily Mica lists them daily @writevent, so I don’t have to keep track of them all!
Many hashtag games provide one word writing prompts: I run #sunscribbles, where writers share lines related to the weekly theme. I’ve been running it for three years, and it’s becoming a challenge to think of unique prompts. Ah well, I can always re-use ‘dragon’!
4) Random Plot Generators:
Some random plot generators give you a basic plot idea. Random Plot Generator goes one step further. If you’re stuck, you can enter 3 character names and the site will generate ideas for what should happen to them. The results are hilarious, but some may inspire you:
Writing Exercises is also a very good site. It has random scenario, plot, and first line generators to name a few, but the website doesn’t always work. I dare you to write your Nanowrimo project based entirely on randomly generated plots!
Ask friends for writing prompts. Get them to describe their favourite place or thing and use it in a story. Talk through your plot with them and see what they think should happen next.
You don’t even have to ask anyone: Sometimes lurking in the corners of coffee shops listening to other people’s conversations is the best way to find inspiration!
6) Use Books:
Flip to a random page in a book and pick the first word you notice. If one word isn’t enough, choose 3 or 4 until you get a spark of inspiration.
I experimented with three books: Fullmetal Alchemist gave me ‘Residents,’ ‘Feral,’ and ‘Bet.’ The Stone Rose, my favourite Doctor Who book, gave me ‘Abandoned,’ ‘Launch,’ and ‘Dead,’ and Psych gave me ‘Museum,’ ‘Wisdom,’ and ‘Sword.’ The last three words are the most appealing as I can relate them to my work in progress!
Warning: This technique is dangerous. You may end up reading for hours instead of writing!
Go to Pixabay and look at the first few images on the home page. Write a story based on one or more of them. At the time of writing my images were:
You could also use holiday or family photos, and tell the stories of the people or places in them!
Thanks for Reading!
I love writing prompts and hope these ideas are useful 🙂 What are your favourite writing prompt resources? Do you play hashtag games? Chat in the comments!
This post is part of the Author Toolbox Blog Hop, hosted by Raimey Gallant. To read more posts from the hop, click here, or on the image below:
Last month I wrote about setting reasonable goals. If you’re thinking of doing Nanowrimo, take a look: I thought about it, but decided 50000 words in a month isn’t a reasonable goal for me. Good luck to anyone participating though 🙂
Next week I’m writing the first of two short stories this month!