A blank page is a terrifying sight. What will you write? Will it mean anything? Will anyone want to read it? Yeah, I know, people often tell you “Just start writing,” but that’s easier said than done. That’s why writing prompts are so wonderful.
The right writing prompt sparks your brain to action. You immediately stop worrying, because your opinions and observations bubble up spontaneously. The right writing prompt makes you want to write.
The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. ~Vladimir Nabakov
Here are ten writing prompts designed to incite your brain and compel you to create. They draw on five senses: your memories, your love of music, the taste and smell of your experience. Instead of struggling with the what-ifs of a blank page, you tap into your unconscious. You simply can’t help but write.
Read through this list of five senses writing prompts. When one strikes you, start writing immediately.
- What happens when the worst person ever shows up unannounced for Thanksgiving dinner?
- Write a gratitude journal entry for your least favorite or least developed character in your book or a story you’re writing!
- You open up the paper to see your photo on the front page. The headline of that article? “Lies, lies, it’s all lies.” How did this happen? (You can mix this one up by writing it from the point of view of a fictional character, too.)
- You have an idea for a story but you’re not sure where to start? Do a mind map of the pieces floating in your head. Check out this post on how to mind map and then start laying your ideas out on paper. I like to draw my mind maps using colored pencils on paper. You can also use any number of apps. Coggle is a good one you can use for free (altho they have premium options as well).
- Enantiodromia. Fanfaronade. Jettatura. These are just three of the words you’ll find in this dictionary of unusual words. Choose one and write a story about it. Fictional or personal essay.
- This one is for when you’re out and people watching. Who catches your eye? Which person or couple or group draws your attention. Maybe you hear snippets of their conversation. Or their clothing stands out in some way. They’re hiding a secret. What is it? Where will they go and what will they do after this moment you see them in public?
- Think back to your most shameful memory. One that after all this time still makes you cringe inside. It’s hard to talk about it. Describe the scene of where it took place. Where were you? What were you wearing? Who was with you? What did you hear, smell, see, taste and touch? Is it daytime or night time? Write down all the details you remember.
- You’re standing in an open field. You smell smoke but hear nothing. Not a single sound. In the distance, you see a group of people wearing strange clothing. They walk toward you. Your first instinct is to run. What happens next?
- Your mother is talking. She starts her sentence with “You know, you really should….” Finish that sentence, then write the scene of what you tell her next.
- Listen to your favorite album ever. One you’ve played over and over. You’ve heard this album and each song connects to a part of your life. Write down the memories this album evokes.
In search of more #writingprompts?
Every Thursday, I share new writing prompts to get you started, dive into your characters and flesh out your writing in my free Facebook group for people writing books. If you’re not writing a book? You’ll still find support and resources to help you write! Join me and an amazing community of writers right now!