Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breaking the Excuse Habit through Writers Prompts

So what's keeping you from writing these days? A good excuse? Or a lame one? An outright ridiculous excuse? Or do you suffer from writer's block?

One way to overcome all these excuses is through using writing prompts. Writing prompts are a great way to get your hands to the paper (or keyboard).

Writing prompts can be a question, situation, or first sentence for you to answer/finish. For example:

-- Where do you see yourself in 40 years?
--"The night started out like any other. That is, until the screaming started. Only then did I _____"
--You are in a room with the President of the United States. What do you want to say to him?

There are many books, websites, blogs, and email groups that share. Do you have a favorite place you go for writing prompts and inspiration? What is it? Share your insights in the comment section below.

Also, do you have another favorite way to overcome writer's block? What is it? Share it below!!


Yamile said...

I visit Nathan Bransford's blog. He's an agent and reading his advise about the industry, and the wonderful comments left by his more than 1400 followers always gives me energy to keep going.
I also visit Janet Reid's and
Rachelle Gardner. I've started also corresponding with some of their followers (we met in the comments section), and they all offer wonderful advise and encouragement.
lately, I've been reading Aprilynne Pike's blog, and she documented her whole process of writing Wings, and now her experiences as a published author. That definitely boosts my incentive to keep writing.
My excuses not to do it are distractions mainly. When I'm writing or editing I tend to check my email or facebook way too often. So I just grab a legal pad and go outside to write while the kids play.

Tiffany said...

Reading a good book never fails to inspire me to write. I just finished "These is my words" and "The Scarlet Pimpernel". Both are outstanding works of fictional art. When I have such a wonderful experience reading, when I get to dive into a new world, a new time, or a fascinating new character, my imagination is stimulated.

I use fatigue and the "no time" excuse right now when it comes to writing. But I know I have at least five minutes most days to write - I just need to commit!

Paul West said...

Writer's block has never been my problem. I simply have trouble finding time to write.

To overcome writer's block, when I'm in the middle of a WIP, I do what Dean Koontz suggested in his book, How to Write Best Selling Fiction." He suggests reviewing the last several paragraphs, making small edits as you go along, then by the time you come to where you left off, your creative juices are alive and flowing and you'll remember what you were thinking of when you quit.

As for starting a new story, I've never had trouble starting. I just have trouble starting with something that works. I probably wrote 20 or 30 first chapters to my recently finished novel before finally deciding that it's probably not going to get any better.