Writing prompts.

I’ve got a fabulous little green book called o level tests in English Language.  Great if you’re stuck and wondering about ideas.  Here’s a couple of ideas.

Write about the following.

1.  A day which started badly.  Speaking of which, have you entered this competition yet?  I’ve got my idea, just need to type it up.  It’s free to enter, so that’s always a bonus.

2.  Begin a story with. ‘Where he came from we never knew, but…’

I love using song titles for story ideas.  Remember when I chose ‘Climb every mountain’ for my title a while ago?  People’s Friend liked the story and even e.mailed me, that’s a first, telling me exactly which bits they didn’t like, but the plot they liked, and they want to read more stories, so watch this space.  That story has now been sent to Woman’s Weekly.

It’s a great little book; I carry it around in my bag and do some of the exercises when I have a spare minute.  It’s by L.E.W. Smith.  An old battered copy, so maybe it’s out of print now.  First published 1959, before I was born, just about.  Funny how old books can be an inspiration.

What old book did you find that gave you an idea for an article or story?  One more of mine was a Rowland Ryder book with a picture of Edith Cavell on the front with her dogs.  It was among a pile of old books, and her face looked so expressive and kind.  I wanted to know more about her, and when I read the inside flap of the cover I couldn’t believe how brave she’d been and I couldn’t leave her there on the market field, especially as the book was only 50 pence; so she’s on my bookshelf now, and I had an article in The Great War issue January 2011 published.

Hope your writing is going well, and reading as well.  Writers’ are readers’ and readers are writers, somewhere they meet in the middle.

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Author: susanjanejones

I write articles and short stories, and this year I've become a pocket novelist for my weekly.

11 thoughts on “Writing prompts.”

  1. As far as I remember none of my stories have been directly influenced by books. I’m often not sure what did prompt an idea though, so I guess many may have been indirectly influenced that way.

  2. Great ideas, Susan, I tend to try and find inspiration from life situations, rather than external prompts. The trouble with that, though is that if something isn’t going too well in my life, it sucks out all my desire to write ~ and if great things are happening I’m too busy! Joining modems like ‘Occupy Blogoshere’ or ‘Nurturing Thursday’ force me to think of suitable contributions ~ but sometimes that can be simply a quote or a few lines. I admire your determination to consider every option and accept constructive criticism ~ it’s inspiring! Wishing you the success you clearly deserve. 🙂

  3. Hi Susan. It’s great that the PF gave you some feedback on a story. Good luck with the WW submission. I can never identify the source of story ideas. I guess that they are some sort of mash-up of observation or overhearing, of dreams and, quite possibly, themes from books read long ago. I’m sometimes inspired by news items.

  4. Will have a go at the flash competition Susan so thanks for that one! I get story ideas often from nursery rhymes and quotations. One story ‘Down came a blackbird’ came runner up in a comp last year. Shirley B from PF is really helpful isn’t she, so do have a go with another story for them. My first PF story is out this week, albeit with different title and slight word changing to ending!

  5. I wouldn’t mind one bit if they changed a title or wording of mine Tracy, to be published in P.F. is the start of a great writing career with them I’d say, well done. I love all nursery rhymes and using them as a prompt is a fab idea. Looking forward to reading your story.

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