101 Writing Prompts and 11 Ways to Beat Writer's Block

101 Writing Prompts and 11 Ways to Beat Writer's Block

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Posted 2021-05-16 by Gayle Beveridge-Marienfollow
[SECTION]A Little Help to Kick Start Your Writing Muse[/SECTION]

Writer's block. We all have it at one time or another, but how do we break out of it. Sometimes it seems the funk will never lift. If it's the idea that's missing writing prompts can be a great help. Sometimes it's the loneliness of the writer that weighs you down, so joining a club or becoming part of a writing community may help. If you haven't set a goal or target, competitions and market submission deadlines might force you to get going again. You might take a course and springboard off that or ponder the basic plots and think about how you might take a fresh approach to these.


You may need to try a few things to find what works best for you, but to get you thinking about it, here are some of my suggestions. Check them out or jump straight to the 101 writing prompts, a list I compiled on my mobile phone notepad one night when sleep was proving elusive.

[SECTION]Writing Clubs, Communities and Friendship[/SECTION]

1. Find Your Local Writing Club: Check your local community centres, libraries, adult learning centre or U3A (University of the Third Age) for a face-to-face writing group near you. I joined a writing group at a local community centre a couple of years ago and not only has my writing output has increased dramatically as a result; I have made new and supportive friends. Clubs can vary but ours meets weekly for two hours. Each week we set a theme to be written on and read at the next meeting. Our writing can be a story, an essay, a poem, an article or any other form. Time permitting, following the readings, we have a ten-minute writing exercise, which is then read or discussed, and we top it all off afterwards with a get-together at a local café.


2. Find Your Local Chapter of Shut Up & Write! This international not-for-profit sponsors free online and face-to-face meetings designed to help develop good writing habits. Meetings are usually weekly for 1 to 2 hours. Members gather to write and no one will be asked to read out their work and no critiques are done, it's all about the writing habit. Many groups remain together after the writing times to discuss writing topics, share methods, challenges, successes and opportunities. To learn more about Shut Up & Write! and to find the chapter/group nearest you, visit their website at https://shutupwrite.com/


3. Become Part of a Published Writing Community. Nothing promotes writing more than writing itself and seeing your writing in print is a great motivator. Does your local area print newspaper accept community articles? What about your favourite magazine? Do you have a skill or interest to write about and share with a specific interest group or magazine? Is there a local online newspaper accepting local interest articles? What about writing for WeekendNotes – you'll find all you need to know on the FAQ page of their website: https://www.weekendnotes.com/faq /

[SECTION]Free On-Line Writing Courses[/SECTION]

There is certainly no shortage of writing courses to help you out. These free, yes free courses, are a great place to start and there's more than 70 of them to choose from.

4. ReedsyLearning (54 Courses): ReedsyLearning's free courses cover a wide range of writing topics. At the time of writing, 54 courses are offered across the categories of Writing (18), Editing (5), Design (1), Marketing (17), Publishing (11) and Distribution (2). A course might include 10 lessons, which at its barest minimum might only take minutes each day if you choose not to pursue any of the additional recommended references. Some courses are done online and others deliver daily lessons to by email. To browse the courses and choose something that suits you, click on the link to visit the ReedsyLearning website. https://blog.reedsy.com/learning/


5. Creative Writing Now (9 courses): Creative Writing Now is not only a great resource website for writers where you will find many writing tips and ideas, but it also offers many creative writing courses. The courses vary in length from three days to eight weeks and are delivered by email. To view the course details and register for a course of your choice, click on the link to go to the Creative Writing Now website where you can also register to receive news of new courses. https://www.creative-writing-now.com/free-online-writing-courses.html

6. The Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course (1 course): Designed as an introductory course for beginner writers, The Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course is an eight-session course. The free course is offered by Fiona Veitch Smith, a freelance journalist, editor, author, playwright, screenwriter and writing teacher. The course includes exercises, but feedback is not available as part of the free offering. Fiona does offer a paid critique service and can be contacted for a quote via her website. To access the free Crafty Writers Creative Writing Course, click on the link to the website. http://creative-writing-course.thecraftywriter.com/


7. FutureLearn (9 Courses) If you look through the FutureLearn course lists, you may be as gobsmacked as I was to find this wonderful repository of free to learn topics. To browse the writing courses offered by FutureLearn click on the link to visit their website. https://www.futurelearn.com/subjects/creative-arts-and-media-courses/writing

[SECTION]Writing Competitions and Opportunities Lists[/SECTION]

8. Enter a Competition. A story writer is first and foremost a storyteller and storytellers need an audience. Writing competitions are a good way to find that audience and perhaps make a little money for your efforts along the way. A quick Google search ---'Short story competitions 2021,' 'Writing Competitions 2021,' etc. –will reveal a surprising number of options. And don't be timid, instead of just entering the open competitions why not try something with a theme where there may not be as many entrants to battle against.


To get started check out these lists on WeekendNotes:
49 Short Story Competitions to Enter in 2021: https://www.weekendnotes.com/short-story-competitions-2021/ or
13 Writing Competitions for Children and Teenagers in 2021 https://www.weekendnotes.com/writing-competitions-for-children-teenagers-2021/

9. Subscribe to Opportunities Lists: You might like to subscribe to a free service offering details of not only competitions but other publishing opportunities such as Fair Submissions https://www.fairsubmissions.co.uk/ or Publishing and Other Forms of Insanity https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/

[SECTION]Take a Fresh Approach to a Common Plot[/SECTION]

10. Take a Fresh Approach. Some say there are no new plots, but there are always fresh approaches. Google 'Basic Plots' and you will be directed to the 3 or 5 or 7 or 9 or more basic plots. Perhaps the most well-known list is that outlined in Christopher Booker's 2004 book, 'The Seven Basic Plots – Why We Tell Stories', https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Seven_Basic_Plots which includes:
Rags to riches
A Quest
Voyage and Return
Comedy
Tragedy
Rebirth
Overcoming the Monster


If you're not sure how you might take a fresh approach have a look at John Yeoman's article 'Are You Making These Plotting Mistakes?'https://writetodone.com/five-ways-plot-story/ John gives a number of examples of how common plots can be enhanced with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. It's not as hard as you might imagine.

[SECTION]101 Writing Prompts[/SECTION]

11. 101 Writing Prompts. And if after all this you are still finding it a little hard to get going choose a writing prompt and just start free writing. Don't plot it, don't plan it, just start. You might be surprised at what you come up with. Even if you just give yourself ten minutes, the kernel of an idea you create now might just be the basis of the best story you ever write.
Here's a list I came up with one sleep-deprived night. It's completely random and what each prompt becomes is entirely up to you.


1. The moored boat
2. The lost glove
3. A smile and a wink
4. Courage comes quietly
5. Reflections in the sand
6. Mushrooms in the lawn
7. A secret gift
8. The preacher's lament
9. The spectre
10. A bush retreat
11. Walking on stones
12. A beach sunset in winter
13. Dancing in the dark
14. The secret tea drinker
15. A missing button


16. When the surfing is over
17. Coffee shop conversation
18. A different coloured lipstick
19. Picking up driftwood
20. Cats on the counter
21. Coins in the dirt
22. The controversial antiquity
23. Soft-soled shoes
24. An ill-fitting dress
25. Counting down
26. Bread and butter pudding
27. A burnt match
28. Long shadows
29. The reluctant expert
30. The hidden wisdom of children


31. Watching Ducks swim
32. Peeping through curtains
33. On the good side of dragons
34. Becoming an introvert
35. Pulling up weeds
36. Living in the Milky Way
37. I looked for you amongst the stars
38. The deliberate act of being late
39. The coming out of a closet crier
40. The buzz of a beetle in flight
41. Pink flowers and red wine
42. The accidental act of bravery
43. The life cycle of a bull ant
44. Tin cans and balls of string
45. Hopping on one foot


46. A trio of spoons
47. A collision of past and present
48. Cancelling yesterday
49. Wearing slippers outside
50. The quiz show winner
51. Confessions of a reality star
52. Broken glass
53. What you don't know about garden gnomes
54. Keeping it simple
55. Nothing left but the husk
56. Twisted metal
57. Red dust adventure
58. A dry town
59. Holes in his hat
60. An outback character


61. Bird on a fence
62. Whiskey on the rocks
63. Holes in his that
64. The sibling wars
65. Waiting for tomorrow
66. A tree change gone wrong
67. Spending the kids' inheritance
68. A geriatric on Facebook
69. Free music in the park
70. The tail-waggers walking group
71. Dodging space junk
72. A flamboyant busker
73. The rock fisherman
74. A community bonfire
75. Toasting marshmallows on a stick


76. Boots at the door
77. If only the dog hadn't got away
78. An unexpected storm
79. The graffiti artist
80. A hidden collection
81. The best chook in the show
82. This car's too small
83. Hating Aunt Isobel
84. Leaning into the wind
85. The champion woodchopper
86. No one said it would be like this
87. The radio operator
88. Running from magpies in the springtime
89. House of sticks


90. Soap bubbles make me laugh
91. Ten thousand steps
92. Racing tracks and fast cars
93. Sausages and onion
94. Off the grid
95. Hunting for fossils in dark caves
96. The modern-day witch doctor
97. The barman's burden
98. The Thursday thief
99. A stranger's funeral
100. Longing for dessert
101. A night in the city

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84195 - 2023-06-11 06:51:18

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