Saturday, February 11, 2012

Why Prompt Writing Is A Good Thing

What makes this a great prompt picture?

One that cries out to tell a story, but not overly crowded with subjects? I'm not really sure how to explain it,  but I know when one grabs me and there are people out there that do. In an interview, Amy Grier of Living Poetry shares her thoughts on 'One Writers Mind'...

Bryce- "What do you think makes for a good writers prompt?"

Amy- "A good writing prompt must spark imagination, emotion, and intellect. The prompt should make you go “Oh!” and immediately deliver an imaginative focus. It needs to prod you to start thinking organically and naturally, not something that feels like homework. Not every prompt will do that for everybody, but a good prompt should attempt it."

Go over and read the rest of the interview. They talk about spelling out a prompt such as "write a poem or story about a girl, a boy, and someone following them through a busy city" will not help most writers. Visuals that are not specific and vague in writing. But photos work great. I often find when in a slump, I go back to old photos, often finding one like the one above, well they do grab me.

Amy also mentions  in her last blog post- turn off the computer, sit back with a good poetry book, and with a beverage and just relax. When I do this I have to force myself to finish, because I am flooded with ideas and characters for a story only after a few chapters, maybe poems. A word will even spark new ideas.

Why am I even touching on writers block? Because it happens.

I cannot imagine what writers twenty or more years ago did when they locked themselves in a cabin to finish their novels. We have way to much stimulation today, which makes 'writers block' more of an issue. It can be the opposite issue and why we should not have excuses "nothing is inspirational enough". I find it almost too stimulating and distracting. All the social media going around, phone apps, and other internet viewing.

Turn the television and games off and write. Don't forget the cell phone too. Your friends will understand when you publish that first novel you keep talking about.

BTW, what does this pic say to you? I found it on a French movie critiques website, and very SEXY. I am not sure, but almost certain it is a scene from Matrix. But don't let that stop you from writing your own version of a story...

Unfortunately Amy Grier hasn't kept up her blog since last May 2011, but we hope and wish her well and thank her for letting us share the interview. She still has some great writing wisdom over there for us to use.


  1. I read a great deal and I find myself stumped with the question "What do I add to the conversation? Will I say it better?" and then I don't write. Comparison can kill me sometimes. You are right, just turn it all off and get a pen.

  2. You should just keep a journal, even if you feel its garble. You go back and read it, or not, but its something you felt you said. I feel my comments are that on others sites LOL but at least I said something. Don't get me started on people not talking face to face anymore...a sore subject!