Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sources for Free Writing Prompts

What do you want to write about today? If your writing muscles have atrophied (or become paralyzed), find a writing prompt and give them a workout before you get down to the business of real writing. You may find that a rough start leads to a promising first draft.

When you need a nudge, try some of these sites. You'll find hundreds of prompts, both plain text and with photos.

CanTeach provides a lengthy list of starter questions. They range from the relatively generic (What is a good neighbor?) to the specific (Explain how to play your favorite game.) They are geared toward students but many selections cover fairly mature topics.

Find a year's worth of writing prompts at A quick browse through the list reveals some imaginative and concrete starting points.

Once Written updates their site with free prompts each week. Their first prompt for this week (My grandfather invented spam.) gave me a snicker and has been tucked away for lean writing days. You can also pay them to get one a day in your e-mail.

For writing topics of a poetic slant, head over to Language Is a Virus. You'll find articles, visual prompts, and the Random Line Generator for your entertainment and inspiration.

Get out in the wide on-line world and look. Any site that interests you can serve as a source of inspiration. Keep a text file open or a voice recorder handy when you surf, to remind you of those topics if you can't stop and write immediately.