The Benefit of a Writing Prompt

When I first auditioned to Chicago High School for the Arts, two and a half years ago, Ms. Boyer Brown, the head of our Creative Writing department, asked me during our interview what was a skill I needed to work on. I instantly told her that I was always ready to write but never know exactly what to write about. This was a pretty common issue I came across when I would try to write any kind of piece at the beginning of my writing career. There were many days I would open up a Google document, and then just stare at it. I was always so frustrated because I really wanted to write, but just couldn’t think of a thing. Sometimes I just have the urge to write because of a story I read and enjoyed easily. I like the stories people make and the way they present, and I want to be able to express the feeling of wanting to make other readers engage into your story because it is just so captivating. That way, your readers can become inspired and write their own pieces themselves.

In my poetry class, we were told to write a prompt down and put it in a box. Then, someone would pick one randomly, and we’d use that prompt for our free write at the beginning of our class.  Something that stood out when it came to prompts, is how I tend to like very general prompts. Like, “I want to ____.” Prompts like these can spark an idea, and then can help me write about anything since it’s so broad. Other times, some prompts that can really work are dialogue lines, and mini descriptions of being put in a situation. Dialogue lines can really help out with starting a new piece because they can be so flexible to the writer. Dialogue can help understand what a character is like, or can help by easily placing a location if writing a prose piece. As for mini prompt descriptions that give you a situation to start with, these prompts can really help you set up an idea in your head. The writer is given a specific situation to work with. Specificity can really help start a writing piece due to its ability to make the writer not feel lost, because it’s such an exact idea. All of these factors can really benefit your writing, I know it’s really helped my writing sound and look smoother and even make it sound creative.

Some prompts I have found that have really helped me write good pieces:

  • I want to ____
  • “Please stop petting the test subjects”
  • You wake up in front of the doors of hell
  • Write about the worst day of your life, but, only the good parts about that day
  • Earth is decaying at every second and ____

 

 

 

My name is Luisa Bloom. I am one of the co-editors in chief, as well as a poetry editor for Levitate Magazine. I find the most important part of a poem to be its use of diction.

 

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