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Steps to Success » Creative Writing

Using Prompts for Creative Writing

Finding inspiration

Maintaining a good flow during creative writing tasks doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it’s a great thing to practise. Choosing a good stimulus can be helpful when avoiding or overcoming writer’s block. Here are some great online resources you can look to for inspiration.

First lines – continue the story by adding the next action, detail, or thought. This website has some excellent inspiration.

Images – create imaginative descriptions of setting and characters using engaging pictures like these.


Finding Freedom

With the internet at our fingertips, having too much stimulation can be overwhelming, which isn’t good for our writing. Sometimes, we get the idea that we have to be doing everything at once, including looking up exciting vocabulary, checking grammar rules, and emulating our writing heroes.

Free writing is one way to get our creative juices flowing! Here are the rules:

  • DON’T be concerned about spelling, structure, or grammar. (The point is to get ideas down on paper!)
  • Think of a topic. (E.g. the location you would like your story to be set in.)
  • Set the timer to 7 minutes.
  • Keep writing, and DO NOT stop. When you pause to think about your next idea, just keep repeating your topic (e.g. dark forest, dark forest…) until the next idea comes to mind.

This exercise often enables you to explore your topic in new and exciting ways, generating brilliant ideas that you can add structure to later.

Other ways to find freedom by setting specific boundaries or limitations include:

Story endings – Choose an ending and write a story leading up to that point.

Choose an item from your room – Imagine that it is from an important person in your life. Write about why and how it was passed on to you.

Specific titles – use a plot generator. Elaborate and give details to the strange characters and unlikely plot twists.

Most important of all is getting the motivation to begin. So pick a prompt from above and start writing!