So, you've committed to a daily writing practice. Step #1 is deciding what to write about, right? Maybe not.
Choosing a topic is a big challenge in itself, so sometimes the best approach is to let someone else make that decision for you. In other words, just start with a prompt.
When you focus your writing practice on a prompt, there's no time wasted pondering the perfect topic, and no excuse to do anything besides just. start. writing. And isn't that the point?
We promise you'll be surprised by where these story-starters lead.
Imagine you walk into an airport with your passport, a suitcase with a week’s worth of clothes and some cash. You ask the airline staff for a seat on their next flight. Where do you end up? What happens on your adventure? And who do you meet along the way?
Recall a story your parents or grandparents used to tell you as a child, but switch up the setting into a more mystical place. Perhaps the protagonist can fly, or the story took place in a technologically advanced future. How does that change the plot?
Every day at the same time, you notice a neighbor pacing the street outside your home. He walks slowly around the block three times before shrugging, letting his head fall, and walking back inside. Today, you decide to walk with him. What do you talk about?
Curious aliens have landed on earth and chosen you as the representative for humanity. It’s your responsibility to explain the human experience to the extraterrestrials — and you’ve only got 30 minutes before they return to their home planet. Write down what you share with them.
Think of the most epic meal prepared by the world’s top chef. You go to dig in to the fabulous spread, but none of the food is quite what it seems. What ends up on your plate? And how does it taste? Describe it down to the finest detail.
You come home and find your clone sitting on your couch. Even though she’s a spitting image of you, a few of her qualities aren’t quite identical to yours. How can someone tell the difference between the two of you? And what do those distinctions say about each of you?
Take an hour to sit at a cafe or ride the public bus with your journal in hand. Jot down everything you see, hear, feel, smell and taste. You might eavesdrop on a compelling conversation that turns into dialogue between characters in your book, or come up with a more realistic way to describe a scene.