Are you trying to write but can’t seem to get any words on the paper? This article will contain writing prompts to help you get some creative juices flowing, whether for a school project or your free time.
Writer’s block is a feeling writers get when they cannot create new work and experience a creative slowdown. There is no cure for writer’s block, but everyone has their own method of getting past it. There are so many different things to try; you can go on a hike, change your workspace, read, or find a prompt to try.
Here are some writing prompts to try when you can’t get seem to get anything down.
Nonfiction Writing Prompts
1. “I remember…”
Go through different moments of your life and begin that memory with “I remember.” You can do sentences or paragraphs, but start by writing “I remember.” Do this for a few minutes, starting at any age you want. You can even start it from a few months ago; it doesn’t have to be that far in the past.
In the middle of writing, switch it up and say, “I don’t remember.” Go through what you don’t remember from those memories, whether it’s the way someone acted, the way it smelled, or the way you felt.
It can be as long or as short as you want. This exercise helps as you dig through your past and write about it.
This writing prompt comes from Joe Brainard, a visual artist and poet who wrote a poem titled I Remember, a memoir about his childhood in the 1940s and ’50s and his later life in the ’60s and ’70s.
Here is an excerpt from his memoir:
“I remember when a kid told me that those sour clover-like leaves we used to eat (with little yellow flowers) tasted so sour because dogs peed on them. I remember that didn’t stop me from eating them.
I remember the first drawing I remember doing. It was of a bride with a very long train.
I remember my first cigarette. I was a Kent. Up on a hill. In Tulsa, Oklahoma. With Ron Padgett.”
2. “Perfect parents…”
This is a writing prompt listed in “Crafting The Personal Essay” by Dinty W. Moore.
“At what moment in your life did you realize that your parents were not perfect? That they could not protect you from all troubles? That sometimes they were scared as well?”
Go through any memory that pops into your head, and try to feel the way you felt in the moment. Try to write about the smells that were in your house then. Work on remembering the way your parents looked, breathed, and worked. Everything that makes your parents your parents try to show that on the paper for your readers.
3. “Family memory…”
This is another family-related prompt that can also be where you show off your interviewing skills.
Here is what the prompt says:
“Choose a family memory that everyone seems to remember differently.”
You will take this memory and go through your different family members, recounting how they remember this specific memory. How does your sister remember? Does she recall it in a more positive light or a negative one? Does she consider someone else at fault? How about your parents? How do you remember it?
Interviewing can help when creating your memoir or writing about someone else’s life, which can be great practice.
Fiction Writing Prompts
Now that we’ve gone over nonfiction let’s go through three fiction writing prompts!
1. “Kingdom life…”
Here is a writing prompt for writing about a kingdom you can create.
“The kingdom was like a quilt…”
Yes, this is short, but you have the creative freedom to go through the different layers of the kingdom. What world is this in? Is it full of magic and lies? Or is it life like ours?
Who is telling this story? Is it an all-knowing narrator or someone who knows only what they see? Is it a queen, prince, or someone from the city?
Is there a dark layer to this kingdom? Something that the people aren’t seeing?
2. “What’s real…”
What about creating a story formed around a single quote?
“You know I’m not real, don’t you?”
Who is saying this? Does your narrator imagine this person and the relationship they have formed? Is it a spirit or angel guiding them?
What happens to your narrator when they realize this person is not real and never has been? Do they go down a spiral of destruction, seek help, or continue imagining them?
How would you react in this situation?
There are so many quotes like this you can find to start a story with. They may be short, but it’s amazing how creative our mind is and how we can build worlds based on single words and sentences.
3. “Search history…”
This is from writing-prompts-s, a page you can find on Tumblr or Instagram, where they post hundreds of writing prompts for you to try.
“A dating service where matching is based on people’s search history exists. You’re a serial killer. You go on a date with a writer.”
This is a more goofy one compared to the others. What are they searching for? Does the narrator tell the writer that they write, too? Does the writer ever find out?
Does the narrator help the writer with their books? Does the narrator begin to write to cover his tracks?
Why is this dating service a thing? Who created it? Has it been successful?
If you want more writing prompts, you can find thousands of them online by searching ‘writing prompts.’ You can specify which kind you want like fantasy or nonfiction writing prompts.
You can even search on Pinterest for writing prompts; there will be hundreds of prompts and even some writing tips to help you. You can find articles, interest posts, or blog posts about prompts or what words are overused.
Which writing prompt are you going to try first? Was it nonfiction or a fiction prompt? Let us know in the comments below!