Writing Prompts: These Are Just Ideas to Get Creativity Going

General Writing Advice

Posted: February 20, 2012

writing-promptsWhat is meant by a writing prompt? This is merely a nudge to help you get started writing. Your professor may assign one, or you can use the following twenty writing prompts to help loosen the fetters of your imagination. Such exercises can awaken your creativity and develop your writing skills?

Writing prompts: Section 1 – Warming Up

  1. Imagine the memoirs of a library book recounting its adventures as it was borrowed by numerous readers.
  2. If reincarnation is possible and you could choose, who (or what) would you like to become in your next life?
  3. If allowed to affect one law, what legislation would you like to change?
  4. Imagine a monologue spoken by your cat (dog, goldfish, any pet, or appliance) discussing the difficulties and problems he or she experiences in daily life.

 
Writing prompts: Section 2 – History

  • You are a journalist announcing the end of the Second World War…
  • During a tour of ruins thought to be Mayan, you notice a native hiding in the surrounding jungle…
  • On board one of Christopher Columbus’ ship, nearly to his first landfall, the crew is ready to turn back. Marshal arguments to encourage them to continue…
  • At the end of the Civil War, after manumission, you see a former slaveholder bidding goodbye to his one-time slaves. All of a sudden, one of the formerly enslaved Africans admits that he is grateful to his master because…

 
Writing prompts: Section 3 – Literature and Art

  1. Mona Lisa with her unforgettable smile is sitting for her well-known portrait. All of a sudden she stops smiling, becomes serious and says to Leonardo da Vinci…
  2. Visiting an ancient tomb in Egypt, you see a strange painting on the wall. Your guide tells you that…
  3. Try to tell a story of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea from the point of view of a fish.
  4. Imagine that Romeo and Juliet miraculously survive. Ten years on, at breakfast, their eldest son enters and astonishes his parents with the news…

 
Writing prompts: Section 4 – Technologies

  • One day you find a Facebook message from a friend, offering the opportunity to try out a new application providing unprecedented opportunities. You cannot believe your eyes…
  • One day at your secret laboratory, the lead scientist rushes in exclaiming, “We were so close to discovering it. It could change the lives of millions of people, but…”
  • You live in the future when innovative methods allow learning a foreign language within one night. There is only one problem with this innovative technology…
  • Time travel is possible, but only in one direction. Are you up for it, and where and when would you like to go?

Writing prompts: Section 5 – Movies

    prompts-in-writing

  1. You live next door to Harry Potter and observing this extraordinary boy, one day you get suspicious…
  2. Watching the film Avatar in 4 D, you unexpectedly discover yourself on Pandora. The only way to return to the cinema is …
  3. You are on board the Titanic. One of the passengers claims to have extrasensory perception…
  4. Men in black appear at your door with the terrifying news of an imminent world-destroying meteor shower. Unfortunately, Bruce Willis is unavailable. We are doomed…unless…

 
Writing prompts: Section 6 – Whatever your professor suggests
 
Your instructor may also assign a prompts for either creative or analytical papers, either as homework or for in-class exercises or exams. Although such writing prompts are likely to be related to the course material, you may also be expected to simply respond to the cue with something. It could be personal, or involve conjecture; in any case, the professor is looking for you to construct clear, correct sentences, and construct a sequence of ideas that make some sense. It may be less important that you be correct than that you write fluently and with conviction.
 
Try out these essay topics and ideas to develop your skills of creative writing. Either for academic writing or just for fun, you can use these prompts in writing your papers to awaken your creativity.

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