By Jennifer Hallmark
Today is our first installment of a new monthly series called 1st Saturday Extra. Each month, we’ll share a testimonial or more personal interview from someone in the writing world. So pull up a chair and enjoy my thoughts on writing prompts.
I believe in writing prompts.
I really do.
The name of our writing blog originally was Writing Prompts, Thoughts, & Ideas…Oh My! Yes, I know it was too long, but at the time I thought it was clever. We’ve shortened it to The Inspired Prompt. Prompts can be pivotal to our writing career.
Prompts may truly be inspired. Why do I feel this way?
In the spring of 2019, my first novel will be released from Firefly Southern Fiction. I am beyond thrilled, ecstatic, and Snoopy dancing. It’s my dream come true.
And it started with a small writer’s group and three simple phrases: Wedding dress designer, dusty baseball cap, faded blue coveralls. From that simple beginning in 2009, a short story was birthed which turned into a novella and finally a novel.
I have two more works-in-progress (WIP) with a few thousand words (if you’re a writer, you’ll understand) and they also had a humble beginning with prompts.
Why do prompts spark creativity? To me, the subconscious is always at work for a writer with feelings and storylines just below the surface waiting to be unleashed. Writing prompts are one way to release them. My novel could have had a different occupation or clothing item if the prompt had been different but I believe the storyline probably would’ve been similar.
Prompts, thoughts, and ideas work best with free writing, where you just let your imagination run and try to keep up with it on a keyboard or with a pen. Now my novel is very different from that original bit of free writing. But the foundation was set that day in 2009 and soon will be in print.
I can’t wait for that day.
So, why don’t you try it out? Every Monday and Friday, we’ll share a post with some type of writing prompt. I’ll be sharing one at the bottom of this post also. Find a quiet place and take the sentence, items, or picture prompt, then write down all that comes to mind.
One day, we might be reading your novel. And you’ll tell people it all started with a prompt.
Writing Prompt: Use these four items to create a story: deli sandwich, Atlanta, aging horse, and a deserted farmhouse. If you’d like, share a bit with us in the comment section below.