Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Writing Prompts: Do We Need Them?

Ralph Fletcher writes:
I'm not a big believer in "story starters". I believe that the best ideas are living inside you. Your challenge is to dig them out. Do the writing only you can do. But every writer gets stuck from time to time . . .
 He then goes on to list some writing prompts (read more here).

Personally, I find writing prompts can be interesting, but giving me, say, an opening line is less inspirational than giving me an unusual image. The difference being that an opening line is unlikely to fit my own style and I'd be more interested in finding my own words anyway. An image or a turn of phrase (which in itself can suggest character, culture, place, ideology) is much more vivid and inspiring for me, as a writer, than a command or opening line (e.g., 'write a poem about your family').

What do you think? Do you find prompts useful?

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