Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

setting (3).JPG

Examples of ways to use this picture seed:

1. Write a scene that takes place in this setting.

2. Write a setting description based on the above picture. Try to include all five senses. Whatever your instincts or preferences for setting and detail, try to over-exaggerate the scene.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Aesthetics

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Something that can be helpful and fun during any stage of writing (whether you’re dreaming up ideas, planning a specific story, doing the actual writing, or revising a draft) is creating an aesthetic for the story. Also called a mood board, this can be anything from a collage of images to a collection of words or quotes.

Creating an aesthetic forces you to think of the feelings, themes, or even settings in the story in a broad, boiled-down sense. It can give you the ability to see the story at a glance, and it might show you that you have a lack of focus, or that you’re going a direction you didn’t intend to go. Maybe you’ll realize that everything on your mood board is dark and depressing, but you didn’t intend the story to be so dark. Maybe you’ll realize that a subplot took over the board, and that maybe you’re focusing on it too much, or that it should actually be the main plot. An aesthetic can be shared with others before you even have a synopsis that you can share, if you’re still in earlier stages of writing a story.

There’s really no wrong way to create an aesthetic or mood board. If you’re not sure where to start, try searching for key words related to your book’s themes, feelings, etc. on a site like pexels.com, pixabay.com, or unsplash.com. Gather some images, and then use something like canva.com to put those pictures together in some way.

Remember that the aesthetic doesn’t even have to be all pictures (or any pictures), despite how it might seem to go against the meaning of the word “aesthetic.” Again, there’s no right or wrong here, just a tool to inspire, discover, or boost creativity.

Here are some examples of mood boards, including one that is a board on Pinterest:

Settings that get progressively darker
Steampunk theme
Astronomy theme
Ballet & royal settings
My aesthetic for “Protector”

Do you make aesthetics for your stories? Feel free to share yours, or your own tips for making a mood board!

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

All traditions have to start somewhere.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

If only you hadn’t opened that door…

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

hand-water

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

Include all of the following words in a scene:
news
argument
silence
stop
neighbors

bonus: pineapple

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Joy of Discovery (or A Cure for Writer’s Block)

WW Joy of Discovery

Some time in the last couple of years, even as I struggled to maintain a writing habit (and for a while, failed completely), I have realize something that I didn’t know in my first 10 years of writing–at least not consciously: the joy of discovery is my absolute favorite thing about writing. I’ve also found discovery in writing to be the exact opposite, and in some ways the cure, for writer’s block.

Discovery, at least to me, is when things click or become more clear. A character pops up that wasn’t planned, but is clearly the answer to everything. You come up with a backstory that actually makes the character’s current actions make sense. You figure out how to fill in the saggy middle with actual, interesting plot. These are just some examples of those moments that can be exhilarating, exciting, and can even cause a rush of adrenaline.

Some people call this a “Eureka moment” or an “‘Aha!’ moment.” I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring up NaNoWriMo and mention that they have a badge that participants can award themselves if this happens during their writing in November.

aha

This is my favorite badge…

Why is this my favorite thing about writing? Probably because of how often it comes when I’m at a particularly low point in my writing. This is not always the case, but more often than not, the biggest, or at least most exhilarating moments of discovery come when I’m experiencing what most would consider “writer’s block.”

I have discovered that writer’s block most often happens when I’m struggling to break through a confusing, uncertain, or even boring section of a story. This can happen during any stage of writing–dreaming, planning, writing, or even revising. When that happens, I turn to a variety of tricks to try to figure out what I’m missing. Sometimes it leads to an “Aha!” moment, sometimes just a calmer, more basic answer to my question so I can move on. And to be clear, the joy of discovery is not only relegated to the exciting moments. Though discovery is almost always at least a little exciting to me.

Before I close, I’ll mention a few tricks that I use to try to coax those moments of discovery. I’ll address some more in-depth in future Writing Wednesday posts, but here are a few that don’t require as much explanation:

  • freewrite (especially with a prompt)
  • change your writing medium (for example, from computer/device to handwriting, or vice versa)
  • change your writing environment
  • listen to some music that reminds you of what you’re writing
  • read
  • keep asking yourself the questions you need to answer while going about the rest of your day
  • don’t decide to give up and come back when “inspiration strikes”

What about you? What tricks do you use to break through when you’re stuck? Have you had your own “Aha!” moments? What is your favorite thing about writing?

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

people-1.jpg

Introduce these people as a cast of characters in a story. What are their names? Why are they here together? What are their relationships to each other? Which one is the clown? Which one is the serious one? Who would be the main character (if any)? Who would be the one that can’t seem to catch a break? Give them real personalities and lives.

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!

**If you’re looking for more like this, you might want to check out the story seeds posts I wrote for NaNoPrep a few years ago. They are not specific to NaNoWriMo, and each contains a list of several different types of prompts or ways to generate story ideas. You can find them here: Story Seeds 1, Story Seeds 2, Story Seeds 3, Story Seeds 4**

Writing Wednesday: Prompt

WW Prompt

Here’s today’s Writing Wednesday Prompt:

event (5)

Write a scene from this image. What’s going on in this picture? Describe how the people watching are feeling at this moment. What is the atmosphere like? How does it feel to be at this event? What will happen next?

If you write something from this prompt, by all means let me know! Feel free to share what you wrote, if you want!