Writing prompts can be used to break through writer’s block or just as a warm-up to get your creative juices flowing.
Writing exercises are great.
till they aren’t.
What should you do if you detest the writing assignment?
Sometimes Writing Prompts Are Awful
I just received an invitation to take part in a collection of short stories.
Being personally invited is a big deal, so I was thrilled to get the chance.
The offer was joyfully accepted right away.
Afterward, I received my writing prompt.
The question was very challenging and a little outside of my comfort zone.
And I despised it.
I was unable to go back, though.
It was a great opportunity, and I had already committed to writing a story.
I had to persevere and finish that story.
5 Tips to Turn a Terrible Prompt Into a Brilliant Story
How did I get over my dislike of that writing assignment?
How then can you make the most of a prompt that you don’t like?
The following are my top five suggestions for writing for a prompt you detest:
Tip #1: Word association/brainstorming
I always clear a spot on my wall and write the prompt in the middle when I’m stuck.
(I possess a huge chalkboard.
During this technique, no paint was affected.)
I write down any thoughts that come to me as I pace in front of the wall.
(A dictionary is a helpful tool.)
Sometimes, I’ll ramble in a single sentence about how much I detest the prompt or how bad a writer I am.
I literally write anything that comes to mind.
This is typically where the procedure ends.
I have something at the end of the first or second hour.
My chalkboard failed me this time.
I only had a lot of scribbling, so I resorted to more extreme means.
Tip #2: Come at it from a different angle
When writing, rules are crucial.
They establish the limits and define our boundaries for us.
Rules are what prompts are.
“This is the only thing we’re writing right now.”
By their very nature, rules and many prompts are restrictive.
rather limiting at times.
Especially when it comes to art, rules are designed to be broken.
When providing you a prompt, your editor does not want you to interpret it too literally.
Consider novel ideas.
Don’t send your editors a piece that has been read a thousand times.
Try writing in a different genre or from a novel point of view.
Tip #3: Let it stew
Retract your steps and focus on anything else.
Take a stroll or a run.
Try another creative activity.
While you direct your conscious attention elsewhere, your brain will continue to consider the issue.
If you’re fortunate, you’ll have insight while discussing socks with someone and the conversation will flow.
Tip #4: Roll dice
I mean literally in this instance.
I have a number of writing tools that I have received as presents over the years.
A box of Story Cubes, a set of dice featuring images on each side, is one of them.
The goal is to stimulate your brain visually so that you can solve problems without the need for words.
You can also experiment with additional “prompts” like online name or title generators, browse a ton of pictures, or play The Storymatic game.
You can use any illogical ideas these items inspire you to write about the writing prompt you’re supposed to use.
Tip #5: Ask others
One of my favorite strategies to get beyond a writing block is to bounce ideas off of other people.
This is not cheating, though.
Although it could seem like a simple solution, keep in mind that you are the one writing.
The other person is merely hurling ideas at you; it is your responsibility to determine which ones will stick and to pursue them.
Instead of stealing ideas, consider their inspiration.
(However, be sure to tell them what it’s for.
Don’t really plagiarize a complete tale.)
Do you adore or despise writing prompts?
Comment below and let me know!
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