So how do these prompts work? Well first and foremost, these are NOT your typical writing prompts.
You see, I find most writing prompts to be either too general or too specific to be helpful. The prompts in this book are just generic enough to spark your imagination and everyone's response will be completely different. Depending on your story idea, plot, characters and writing style, the response to the following prompts will look vastly different from another writer's.
How does this work? Well, when you hit a roadblock in a particular scene, play with one of the prompts and see how your character responds, what comes out of their mouth. Then, let the other characters respond to that line. Here's an example. For the following prompt, I can have a character respond one of many ways (and I literally just came up with these as I'm writing this book summary).
SAMPLE PROMPT - Ask someone to leave
Now, what's the next line out of your character's mouth? Is it:
-- You know what, get the hell out!
-- Look, I'm tired. Can we talk about this tomorrow? I'll have Peter drive you home.
-- Will you please just leave! I can't do this. I can't talk to you anymore!
-- Either he goes or I go. Which will it be?
See how all these are very different ways for a character to essentially ask (or try to force) another character to leave? Now, think about the consequences of your character taking this action. Does it create tension with the other characters left in the room? Does it cause regret or relief in your character? How do the other characters react to what the prompt character just did or said? What does your character do next?
See how the prompt can help you get unstuck? The key is to work with the response that works best for your situation. You should have a sense of what should be happening in the scene and your character's goals, but that's really all you need! And even if you don't keep what you just wrote, the prompts can get you writing again and get you back into the flow.
Anyway, I love these prompts! You can insert them any time you hit a wall. At least for me, they seem to get my creative juices going, so I hope they can help you too. Sometimes I find that I've gone on to write an entire scene and I didn't even end up keeping the lines that the prompts generated! It was enough just to get me unstuck and get my characters interacting again.
I hope these prompts can help others. If folks vote and comment to let me know that they've helped, I'll post 10 chapters - that's 100 prompts overall! Be sure to put this prompt book on your reading list too or in your library so you get the latest chapter updates!
Do I have to use all the listed prompts? No! Not at all. Use as many or few of them as you find helpful. Start with one, and if it's not working, pick another.
Do I have to use them in order? Nope! Use them however it works for you. Truthfully, this week's prompts may not get you going, but over time as I add more, hopefully you'll find prompts that do. Also, sometimes a prompt will be useless to you one day, and gold the next!
Can I mix and match from week to week to get me through a scene? You bet!
What if none of these prompts get me writing again? Then come up with your own! All you have to do is boil an action you see or read about down to its very essence. So, as you're reading, watching TV, or are out and about observing people and eavesdropping on conversations, take an interaction and determine what,--at the most basic level--just happened. Then add in the details that are relevant to your story and scene. So maybe you witness an exchange at a Starbucks and you see a mother guilting her daughter into not getting the Vente Caramel Latte. That could become "Guilt someone into something" or "Make someone feel ashamed about their choices" or "Exert influence on someone's decision." Ooh, those are good ones! I'll have to add them to my list! :-)
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Scene Prompts - What Should Your Character Do Next?Non-Fiction
These are NOT your typical writing prompts. I find most writing prompts too general or specific to be helpful. The ones in this book are just generic enough to spark your imagination and everyone's response will be completely different. Depending on...