This week we’ll be taking a break from how to write fictional governments because I have a special announcement (if you couldn’t tell from the picture and blog title), so be sure to read to the end so you don’t miss out!
What’s The Deal With The Prompts?
Some of you may be wondering why people bother using prompts, or what’s the point?
If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I write a lot of prompts (There are probably around 2,000 on there by now).
In the past couple of years since I first started writing prompts, I’ve had several people ask me how they were supposed to use them.
Should they stick the prompts into their stories just the way they were? Could they edit the prompts? Did they have to give me credit if they used my prompts in their stories? What exactly were the prompts for?
I completely understand the confusion, because when I first learned that people used prompts to write stories, it really confused me too. I mean, if everyone is using prompts, then won’t all their stories turn out the same?
These questions can all be answered with the help of a few cookies.
A New Recipe
When I was twelve years old, I ate a snickerdoodle for the first time. From that moment on, I became obsessed with the thought of making my own snickerdoodles that tasted just as amazing as the first ones I had. But there was one problem: I didn’t have a recipe for snickerdoodles (this was before I had access to the internet).
I did, however, have a recipe for chocolate chip cookies (which I’d gotten off the back of a baking soda box), so I decided that I would try to create my own snickerdoodle recipe using the recipe I had for chocolate chip cookies.
It took a bit of trial and error, but I eventually figured out what to add to or change about the recipe to make snickerdoodles instead of chocolate chip cookies. After that, I brought my snickerdoodles to a family gathering, and only managed to eat one before they were gone.
Everyone enjoyed them so much that after that, I was asked to bring them to every family gathering we had.
Cookies = Prompts?
You’re probably wondering what-in-the-world cookies have to do with using prompts in your stories, so let me explain. In my cookie story, I used the chocolate chip cookie recipe as a guide (or prompt), adding or taking away ingredients to suit my ultimate purpose (creating a recipe for snickerdoodles).
And that’s how writers should look at using prompts to write stories.
The cool thing about prompts is that they give you a place to start, without dictating what direction you should take your story in. You can add or take away from a prompt to make it your own, or to suit the needs of the story you want to tell.
Try It For Yourself!
Take a look at these two prompts:
Midnight was way too early for me.
“I knew you were bad at making decisions, but this is ridiculous.”
What stories can you come up with based on these lines?
If you don’t want to create an entire story based on this line, then is there a specific scene that comes to mind?
A character that needs to be created?
I’ve read a few prompts that were only a couple of words long, but sparked novel-length ideas.
Because people are so different, the way they interpret and want to use prompts will be different as well, so there’s no danger of a bunch of people writing the same couple of stories—unless the stories happen to be for romance novels or Hallmark movies.
Whether you never run out of story ideas or you could use some inspiration now and then, prompts are a tool that every writer can utilize.
Speaking of prompts and inspiration, let’s get to my special announcement…
I’ve made a prompt book! It’s filled with 50 fantasy dialogue prompts, and I’m giving it to you for free! So if you’re looking to use prompts to inspire your writing, or you’d just like to laugh (a couple of the prompts are pretty funny) then you can get your free copy by clicking here!
Note: If you do decide to use my prompts in your stories, I don’t expect you to credit me unless you’d like to! I just ask that you don’t repost them anywhere and claim that they’re yours. Also, feel free to let me know if you did use my prompts in your story, I’d love to read it!
Before You Go…
Do you use prompts to inspire your stories?
Let me know down in the comments!
Read the last blog here!