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Writing Prompts

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I’m taking almost all English classes this semester. I’m taking Shakespeare on Film, Writing Fiction, Literary Writers Market, an independent study where I’m a reader for the college’s literary journal, British Lit II, and then a Spanish class. There is a ton of writing and reading involved, let me tell ya. 

Anyway, for my Writing Fiction class today I had to write about an experience that occurred to me or someone I knew while I/they were on the job. 

A lot of the time I don’t like writing prompts. As someone who rarely has trouble coming up with something to write, I often feel like very specific writing prompts are boring and restraining. I don’t feel that way about the prompts in this class, though, because they’re fairly interesting and my professor is cool about – and wants his students to – deviating from the track. 

The piece I ended up writing was about one of my experiences while volunteering at Saddle Up. I freely embellished where I thought it was needed and made up the facts I couldn’t remember precisely. 

It was a lot of fun, and I’m glad that was the prompt I was given, because I probably would never have written about that experience otherwise. 

How do y’all feel about writing prompts? Love ’em? Hate ’em? Do you usually get good work from them? What’s one of your favorite writing prompts ever? 

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One thought on “Writing Prompts

  1. I only took three writing classes in college, but I always loved the prompts.Of course, this was back when I didn’t have twenty different novel ideas running around my head, so I was always grateful for the new ideas. If I was already working on something else at the time, I would try to work the prompt around that story I was already working on.

    My favorite prompt was a story-in-a-week thing that my teacher did, where every day she would send us a different prompt that we had to include. Fortunately, most of these weren’t story specific, so most included stuff like “pick a random word from the dictionary and include it” or “write a paragraph with vastly different sentence lengths” or “make a detail you included on day one have a greater significance at the end of the story.” I used characters I was already using in another novel, and I wrote the scene using them. It was a lot of fun, and I ended up using that scene in my novel. It helped me learn things about my characters I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

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