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Ever wonder what it's like to be in that moment between struggling artist and published author? Read on and find out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Writing Prod

            My apologies for not posting Friday and for giving you such an abbreviated post today. I have a deadline to meet and have been focused on finishing my WIP.
            The very first writing prompt I learned was introduced to me as a method of developing games ideas. During that workshop they also demonstrated that the real value of the designer (or writer) is not in the basic element of the idea you’re working with but in the actual execution.
            This prompt involves randomly selecting three to five words and using those as the central themes of the story. As you develop the connections between the random words the elements of your story start to emerge. The human mind is very adept at making connections so this should be no problem for any of us creative types.
            I find that nouns work best, but verbs and adjectives work as long as you keep them to a minimum. One method of randomly selecting the words is to leaf through the newspaper and take the first noun, verb, or adjective you see. You can also flip through the channels of your television of radio and just copy down whichever words that catch your attention.
            Once you have the decided upon number of words you can look them over. If a story idea doesn’t immediately jump out to you select one at a time and consider whether it represents a character, place, motive, or goal in the story. By time you get through assigning all of them their roles in the story you should have some excellent ideas of what it’s all about.

            Here are five random words that I picked by flipping through the television channels: Hunger, Mood, Price, Electronics, and Federal.
            If you want to participate, use those five words to write a small story (100-200 words) or the elevator pitch for a novel or screenplay. As usual, I am including an example of using the prompt to generate a story idea. (I had an idea brewing by the time I had written down the second word.)

Hunger Strike – Joe Carson’s dreams of a daring career in the FBI vanished on the day they assigned him to be a supply clerk in a dead end post. Now the lead investigators in the office have mysteriously eaten themselves to death and Joe is the only person with a lead on what they were investigating when it happened.


  1. I like this idea, but I have to admit if I had looked at those 5 words I would have thought, nope! I need 5 new words! And look what you did with them. Of course, I write picture books... :)

    1. This method may not work with picture books, but I bet if you really gave it a try you'd come up with a great novel idea from it.

      I'm thinking of actually working with this idea and turn it into a humorous series of stories about a bungling FBI agent.