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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.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Writing Prompts

     My most popular workshop is Jumpstart Your Creative Juices in which I discuss writing prompts. If you think that writing prompts are nothing more than exercises handed out by creative writing teachers--you are mistaken. They are a proven method of generating some truly memorable story ideas. The first novel I wrote was based on a writing prompt and has an elevator pitch that never fails to capture the attention of the people I share it with.
     That being said, I recently promised to repost the writing prompts I have managed to develop for my workshops. If these look familiar it's because I've posted them before on my blog. I did manage to clean them up a bit, but they are basically the same. I'll be posting one of them a week until I have gone through the entire list. I hope you enjoy them.

            PROMPT 1 – TITLES
            I generated the idea for my first novel from a Title prompt. As a beginning author I worried about running out of ideas for stories—silly me. Just to see how hard it would be to generate more story ideas I scanned through a list of movie titles. Whenever one caught my attention I wrote it down. Once I reached a goodly number of interesting titles I took a closer look at the list. Death Race 2000 was on the list and started me thinking about what a race would be like for dead people and from that I wrote Hellathon.
            My example is based on movie titles, but any sort of title works. Movies, novels, short-stories, songs, and even band names can all be used to generate ideas. The trick is to let your mind wonder what kind of story you could write with that title. Look at it figuratively. Look at it literally. Look at it with whimsical eyes. Use it as a starting point for your creativity.

            Here are the ten titles. I hope you have fun with it.

            1. They Might Be Giants
            2. The Long Goodbye
            3. They Were Expendable
            4. Thunder Road
            5. Angels Die Hard
            6. You Only Live Twice
            7. Keeper of the Flame
            8. A Song Is Born
            9. A New Life
            10. Walk, Don’t Run

            Based on the list above, I generated the following elevator pitches.

Based on “They Might Be Giants” is a pitch for a children’s book: Jared and Sally have been asked by their father to take a pair of shoes to a customer in the next town. They are the most enormous shoes either of them have ever scene. Could it be that the people living there are giants? And if so, what will happen to the children when they arrive?

Based on “The Long Goodbye” is a pitch for romantic screenplay: Rob and Sarah have one last weekend together before he ships off to war.


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