Every now and then, when I speak to students or teachers at a school or conference, I’m often asked about the daunting task of filling up the blank page. A big problem for a lot of writers just seems to be sitting down and getting started writing. In my own experience I never really have a problem starting a story, it’s finishing them that is sometimes the issue. (And if my editor happens to be reading this right now, I would just like to say that the book is coming along just fine! Really.)
Still, I understand some people would like to write and some already have great ideas and just need a little nudge. So I have developed my very own set of “Super-Duper Guaranteed to Get You Writing, Writing Prompts.” I often tell students and teachers that 95% of all novels and short stories ever written begin by asking the question “What If?” What if Gatsby was still in love with Daisy? What if the Sun didn’t also rise? What if Henry VIII was really French?” Most writers start there. And believe me it’s a good place to start. But there are times when “What If?” doesn’t work.
So here we go. If you’re struggling to write, ask yourself one of these questions and see if it doesn’t get you started.
1. Who moved my socks?
2. Do you think this rash might be contagious?
3. Did you know that hamsters did that?
4. What time is lunch?
5. Are you sure the leg is supposed to bend like that?
Feel free to use one of these or make up your own prompts. No need to thank me! It’s all part of the many great services we provide here at www.michaelspradlin.com. So sit down and write! You’ll be glad you did!
Feel free to send me some of your own prompts that you use for writing and I’ll post them another time!
Michael P. Spradlin
P.S. In case you haven’t heard JUNO was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar today! Yay!