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Creative Prompting for Easier Writing
Posted on April 25th 2013
Writing is not an easy task, especially if you're one of those bloggers who constantly need to be “inspired” in order to be able to write. This can work against your career if you're near your deadline and there's no time to wait for your “inspiration” to come to you on its own.
In this case, it might be better to do your own motivational steps to bring your muse to the fore – a process in writing loosely called “prompting.”
1. A picture paints a thousand words, remember?
If you're planning on writing a biography, you can tape up various pictures of your subject that you find interesting onto a wall by your desk. These pictures don't necessarily have to be familiar pictures of the person you're planning to write about. In fact, a good twist would be to look for never-before-published or rarely shown pictures of your subject in order to shed a different light to his/her story.
For example, if you're writing about the President, instead of writing about the obvious, like the journey through politics to get to the presidential seat, you can look for pictures of your subject's childhood and focus on his/her non-political activities during school.
If your President used to be part of the drama club or writing club or used to dream about becoming a dancer or a comedian, it would put a different light to what's already known by many.
2. Move and explore your surroundings.
If you're stuck in a chapter in your adventure novel, try pretending to go on a risky escapade yourself while constructing sentences as if you're writing to a friend, as you describe the surroundings around you, the people, the scents, the colors and everything else that may stimulate your imagination.
You may also visit a place in your city you've never been to before or never gone to by commute and without a map, like a rumored haunted area, a historical spot or once-crime scene.
You can even have it done the other way around and get a friend to do the exploring for you while you stay in a quiet library with a spy earpiece (yes, a la James Bond style) and let your friend's descriptions lead your writing onwards.
3. Be adventurous.
If you're willing to go more extreme, you can take a writing vacation out in an exotic locale, a beach house or camp out in the mountains where you can be far from much of city life's disruptions.
If suspense is your theme, you might want to try and create a scenario where you're in a far-flung island and there's a particularly violent storm ongoing, thus disrupting all wireless signals in the inn where you're staying.
According to the owner of the inn, there's only one GSM booster in the area with which to establish any communication with the outside world, and it's been stolen. (GSM boosters, by the way, are used to strengthen phone signal, especially in areas that are far from mobile phone towers.)
As the jitters start to consume you, write about the various creepy thoughts that begin to haunt you as you imagine yourself in such a perilous situation. You can even turn the story into some sort of a mystery, like the hunt for the missing GSM booster.
These are just some of the different techniques you can apply if you want to prompt your “inspiration” to come forward. Sometimes, especially in writing with a deadline, it isn’t about inspiration alone, but a good amount of proactivity to get things done on time.
Sometimes, too, all it takes to get back on track with your writing is a simple change in surroundings.
Image courtesy of real00, Flickr.