5 WAYS TO HELP YOU CREATE SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING
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What do we want?
What do we need?
A writing prompt!
Well, it might not always be the case, but if ever you need that extra spark to get the creative juices flowing, here are five ways to get you started (with some bonuses thrown in).
The website of the same name boasts 346 writing prompts to suit your fancy. For those keeping count, that gives you 19 days in the entire year to come up with your own ideas!
Here’s a sample with #105:
Brenda Ueland said, “Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force.” Today, stop what you’re doing and listen for 2 minutes. Then write the new thoughts you had as a result of this simple activity.
Maybe 346 isn’t enough. How about 753? That’s over two years in idea churning!
On a previous visit, I got this: An inscription in an old book. That is a great jumping off point.
More recently, I got this: A movie rental isn’t the movie on the cover, it’s a local politician in a very delicate position. Yowza!
This is an interesting site because of it’s unique interface. With payphone buttons to choose from, you can receive prompts from different categories. For example:
Dial 1 for Settings: A quiet suburban cul-de-sac. A child’s bicycle lies on its side, one wheel slowly turning.
Dial 3 for Dramatic Entrances: An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver’s door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.
Dial 7 for Calisthenics: What’s the connection? Bring these elements together to make a story.
- Bike messenger
- Walk-in freezer
- Uncut diamond
And under each ‘number’ dialled you have more ideas to choose from. It’s pretty nifty.
They’re not kidding when they say a picture is worth a thousand words. And with a site like tumblr, you have no excuse. The following pics are all from that awesome feed:
Writer’s Digest has a regular cache of writing prompts which include such gems as:
Don’t Delete Chain Mail
You delete a chain email that says if you don’t forward it to ten people, you will have bad luck for ten years. On your way out of the office, a black cat passes you. Then you find a parking ticket on your car. And, to top it off, your car won’t start. Was it actually the email? Write your response to the bad luck, as well as other ensuing events that make you wonder about hitting the delete button.
You’re Only Crazy if You Say You’re Not
One morning you awake to find yourself in a straight jacket, being taken off to an asylum. How do you prove your sanity? What do the guards and psychiatrists say you did?
You’ve been finishing a brick wall for a room in your friend’s basement for a couple of hours. When you step back, you realize that you and your friend forgot to put in a door. He tells you not to worry about it, he planned it that way. How do you react?
Tell me you can’t come up with some interesting stories just from the examples I’ve curated for you here. I must extend my apologies for the late post. Under the weather on top of all the issues I’ve been dealing with lately, I’m glad I got something out to you all. And as an apology, I have some bonus ideas:
6) People Watch
I once observed (didn’t have a choice as they were taking centre stage at the mall) a teenaged couple fighting. From what little snippets I recognized (speech patterns, not the translation) I believe they were speaking Korean. I didn’t need a translator to figure out what the fight was about. The body language was clear. And it was all his fault. Seriously.
Honest, I wasn’t, but if you’re on a crowded bus, a busy cafe, or even those brief moments in an elevator, you’d be surprised what you can overhear–completely by accident, of course.
“Like, are you coming over later?” The girl clicked her chewing gum and examined her manicure.
He slouched in his seat, legs spread wide enough to brush against the old lady next to him. “Nah, I got stuff to do.”
“Tsk. Like what?”
“I gotta hit the gym.”
“Whatever, you know she doesn’t like you right?” She pressed her overdone lips together so hard it looked like someone threw a tomato at her mouth.
He scoffed. “You’re just jealous.”
She rolled her eyes. “Yeah, right. Like I’d get with you–again.”
8) Look out your window.
Sometimes you don’t need to hear the world around you. It goes back to pictures telling the story. Let it unfold outside your window and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see what you come up with.
9) Online or Offline Newspaper Headlines
Hey, if ‘ripped from the headlines’ works for a certain long-running television series empire, they must be doing something right. << CHUNG! CHUNG!>> And sometimes, the more you dig, the more outlandish some of these headlines become. You’ve heard the phrase, ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, haven’t you? There are some intriguing stories, baffling news items, and really dumb criminals. It’s a cornucopia of story ideas.
10) Sound Bites
This is a multimedia trick. You can do this with the television, radio, internet, or even a music player. Just let it run, then switch channels, stations, or tracks. Sometimes you get the oddest sentences but it really challenges you to play the ‘what if?’ game.
So, how’d you like them apples? I’m enjoying the FRIDAY FORAGE series, so far, and hope you’re getting some use out of my finds, as well. I even doubled my offering today. Hope they spark some interesting stories for you.
Which reminds me:
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