My Winter Wheat Session on Prompts

I called my session: Using Prompts to Prompt You in the Writing Direction. My session was from 9-10:15 a.m. Saturday, November 18.

I opened my presentation with a quote from Stephen King’s “On Writing:” “…two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun.” (25)

So for prompts, you can give one idea or both and adjust the prompt if necessary. If the prompt doesn’t speak to you, move on to another one.

To make a prompt you need a Tangible Idea and a Form/Limitation. A Tangible Idea can be a setting, character or situation, although I would recommend picking something concrete that you can describe. There are times when I tend to write in the abstract and have to bring the concrete in to make my writing accessible.

Then it’s time to pick a form or limitation. For poetry I tend to pick a specific form and use the tangible idea as a theme. Other limitations you can use are time, lists and certain words. For fiction I pick a scene, short story, flash fiction, experimental fiction or a novel.

To make your own prompts, pick a tangible idea, pick a limitation, and start writing!

Some books I’ve used in the past to kickstart my writing:

The Write-Brain—Bonnie Neubauer
The Pocket Muse—Monica Wood
In the Palm of Your Hand—Steve Kowit
The Writer’ Book of Matches—the staff of Fresh Boiled Peanuts
The Poetry Dictionary—John Drury
The Poet’s Dictionary—William Packard
The Book of Forms—Lewis Turco
Patterns of Poetry—Miller Williams

It was nice to reflect for a moment on my first post for prompts, which you can find here: Prompts have helped me, so I hope they help you if that is what you need to get started some days.

In the spring I was working on two short stories for my fiction class. My roommate suggested I combine the two in a novel. Thus Charlotte was born and I have been working on my April Novel ever since.

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