Friday, March 23, 2018

Snatching Ideas, Making Them Into Writing Prompts, and Putting Them to Work

My grandmother once accused me of having an overactive muse, and I believe she was right. But it has served me well as an writer and author. As a writer, I'm sure you can relate. The writer's mindset sees possibilities for stories in the oddest places. It's one of the reasons I enjoy writing prompts. The trick is to snatch these ideas and put them to work.

Collect Writing Prompts

For instance as I cleaned out some old files today, I found a pamphlet for a ride on a steam powered train in the mountains of Tennessee. As I continued to sort through files, I thought about how the ride on that train would differ depending on the time of year, and then I let my imagination travel back in time to when steam engines were the latest technology, but how in some ways life was so much simpler. Can you imagine going to the train depot to watch people disembark from the train for something to do! Walla, an idea is born. I jotted down two writing prompts. One to describe the same train ride in two different seasons. The other to write a historical fiction scene with a steam powered train pulling into the depot in Boca Grande, Florida.

The trick is to track the ideas you collect throughout the day. No, you won't have time to develop an entire article or story for every idea born on the same day they are inspired, but it's important that you write them down in an idea file with enough information to jog your memory. It's a perfect way to pump your muse when you feel uninspired or stifled by writer's block.

Today's Writing Prompt

Take one of the ideas you came across today (or one from your list) and write a rough draft of a story or article. Keeping an "ideas" list is a treasure, because  it's filled with your ideas and seeing it in writing will serve as a reminder that carries you back to the inspiration that called it into being.

Photo credits:  pxhere, pixabay