Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge – June 21, 2017

It’s Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge again! This is the place to find unexpected inspiration to encourage creativity.

I post a writing prompt, or exercise, here each Wednesday. Follow the prompt precisely, or use it to spark your own writing—a journal entry, a poem, a short story. If you wish, consider sharing a link to your response in the comments below. There are some simple rules, so check them out below before posting.

Thanks for playing along! Happy writing!

Here is the writing prompt for the week. Have fun!

Consider the benefits of living in a house with screened windows vs. living without them. Write a paragraph describing both.

Rules for posting to Wednesday Writing Challenge:

  1. Must be family friendly.
  2. Hate and intolerance will not be accepted.
  3. No pornography, erotica, graphic violence or excessive profanity.

My aim is to maintain a site that’s open to a wide audience. I write for middle grade on up to adults. I will review any content shared on my site, and reserve the right to remove any link.

Please, have fun. Be creative. And let’s write more words!

The Hidden Box

When I randomly selected this prompt for the Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge for this week, I knew at once what I would write about.

One of your characters keeps something in a box, buried where no one will ever find it. What is it, and what’s the significance of that object?

It brought to mind a scene in my current work in progress that is actually deep backstory. I realized in that moment how I could bring that scene full circle and close that line of thought at the end of the novel.

I started imagining the scene right away, and wrote it down the next day. It isn’t long, around 1,000 words. But it is a significant moment for my character.

The scene involves a box, hidden years ago by the character. A box containing childhood treasures such as a blue jay feather, a cracked snail shell and a pretty red stone. A box hidden away for safe keeping and all but forgotten for many years.

I can’t share the scene with you, however. Not yet. It’s too vital to the novel.

Is there a secret box in whatever you’re working on?

Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge – June 14, 2017

It’s time for the Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge again! This is the place to find unexpected inspiration to encourage creativity.

I post a writing prompt, or exercise, here each Wednesday. Use it to spark your own writing—a journal entry, a poem, a short story. If you wish, consider sharing a link to your response in the comments below. There are some simple rules, so check them out below before posting.

Thanks for playing along! Happy writing!

Here is the writing prompt for the week. Have fun!

One of your characters keeps something in a box, buried where no one will ever find it. What is it, and what’s the significance of that object?

Rules for posting to Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge:

  1. Must be family friendly.
  2. Hate and intolerance will not be accepted.
  3. No pornography, erotica, graphic violence or excessive profanity.

My aim is to maintain a site that’s open to a wide audience. I write for middle grade on up to adults. I will review any content shared on my site, and reserve the right to remove any link.

Please, have fun. Be creative. And let’s write more words!

Brainstorms, and the Art of the Query

The prompt for the June 7 Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge was not an easy one for me for a variety of reasons. First, I don’t write magazine articles. And second, I’m not yet in a position to send out query letters.

This week’s prompt:

Brainstorming – think up five ideas for magazine articles. Pick the best one, and send it to an editor in a query letter.

The Brainstorm
If I were to write articles, what would I write about? I have no specific expertise in anything. I know a bit about a fair number of subjects, but I doubt I could be called an expert.

I do know little bit about hand crafts such as counted cross-stitch and crochet. But all I know on these subjects I’ve learned from other experts. I have nothing original to add to the conversation.

I’m the mother of three boys, and I’ve learned a thing or two about raising children, specifically boys. We’ve just left the preschool years behind us for good and are currently in the gap-toothed smiles phase. But as a parent, I’ve failed at least as often as I’ve succeeded, so what could I hope to offer anyone on the topic of parenting?

Then there is the writing itself. I feel the least qualified of all to offer any advice on this topic. I’m muddling my way through this process, trying to learn as I go. And hoping I don’t make too many mistakes along the way.

Still, I am a writer. I write this blog. I write short stories and novels. And I sometimes struggle with what to write about. Therefore, I did use this prompt to explore some ideas I might want to pursue both for my blog and in fiction.

I came up with a few ideas, more than the recommended five, in fact. I’m not going to share my list here, however. A girl’s got to keep a few secrets, after all.

The Query
As for the next part of the prompt – write and submit a query letter – this was even harder for me than the first part. As I said, I don’t write for magazines, and I’m not currently prepared to submit any short stories for publication. Nor am I quite ready to reach out to an agent.

Instead, I used this prompt as an opportunity to explore some marketing ideas. It can’t hurt to be prepared with knowledge when I am ready to submit an article, a short story or a query letter to someone with the goal of having my work published. There are a number of resources available for seeking out publication markets, The Writer’s Market perhaps being the largest.

One day, hopefully soon, I will be at a place where I will need to seek out an agent. At that time, it would be good for me to know how to write an effective query letter. Again, there are tons of resources available with a simple web search. The Writer’s Digest blog is a wealth of information on all aspects of writing. Here are a couple related to writing queries:

How to Write the Perfect Query Letter

The 10 Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Query Letter

And this article from AgentQuery.com:

How to Write a Query Letter

All three include links to various other potentially useful articles as well.

These Wednesday Challenges aren’t always just about the writing. Sometimes, like this one, they are more about the business side of writing. Still, no matter where you’re at in the process, and no matter what your specific writing goals might be, I think it’s useful to visit this side of creativity once in awhile. It could even be that in writing a synopsis for your novel you discover the true conflict at the heart of it.

Did you find this exercise useful? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge – June 7, 2017

Welcome back to the Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge! This is the place to find unexpected inspiration to encourage creativity.

I’ll post a writing prompt here each Wednesday. Use it to spark your own writing—a journal entry, a poem, a short story – or a query letter. If you wish, consider sharing a link to your response in the comments below. There are some simple rules, so check them out below before posting.

Thanks for playing along! Happy writing!

Here is the writing prompt for the week. Have fun!

Brainstorming: Think up five ideas for magazine articles. Pick the best one, and send it to an editor in a query letter.

Rules for posting to Wednesday Writing Challenge:

  1. Must be family friendly.
  2. Hate and intolerance will not be accepted.
  3. No pornography, erotica, graphic violence or excessive profanity.

My aim is to maintain a site that’s open to a wide audience. I write for middle grade on up to adults. I will review any content shared on my site, and reserve the right to remove any link.

Please, have fun. Be creative. And let’s write more words!

Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge #2

Be your own thesaurus. Pick a word, and write down as many synonymous words as you can. Then, expand to synonymous phrases, then to synonymous metaphors. Play with the idea of similarity.

For this week’s exercise, I chose to explore the word pot. I had no good reason for choosing this particular word, but I couldn’t come up with anything more exciting. Rather than spending too much time dwelling on what word to choose, I decided to go with the first thing that came to mind. My gaze landed on the little ceramic pot that holds the slips of paper with these exercises on them. It’s certainly not an exciting or glorious word, but I went with it anyway.

So what is a pot, but a container. A tool used for cooking. In that sense, I came up with the following similar words:

pan
container
bucket
kettle
bowl
basket
cauldron

From this list of words, I moved easily into a series of synonymous phrases. Here are a few I came up with containing the word pot and other similar words:

Pot calling the kettle black.
Out of the pan, into the fire.
Kick the bucket.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

While I didn’t come up with any synonymous metaphors centering on the word pot, I was struck by a certain similarity that emerged in the above phrases. There is in all of them, a sort of negativity. I can’t help but wonder about the origins of these idioms.

I think the idea behind this exercise is to complete it quickly, to let the mind play with words. I think it should be used to create surprising connections between words and ideas that perhaps you hadn’t thought of before.

This might not have been an especially useful exercise, at least not in the immediate sense of producing material for a larger work. Even so, it was interesting to see where I could go with a mundane word such as pot. And I do love the word cauldron. It has a sort of magical quality about it, don’t you think?

Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge – May 31, 2017

Welcome back to the Wednesday Writing Prompt Challenge! This is the place to find unexpected inspiration meant to encourage more creativity.

I’ll post a writing prompt here each Wednesday. Use it to spark your own writing—a journal entry, a poem, a short story. If you wish, consider sharing a link to your response in the comments below. There are some simple rules, so check them out below before posting.

Please, have fun. Be creative. And let’s write more words! Thanks for playing along! Happy writing!

Here is the writing prompt for the week. Have fun!

Be your own thesaurus. Pick a word, and write down as many synonymous words as you can. Then, expand to synonymous phrases, then to synonymous metaphors. Play with the idea of similarity.

Rules for posting to Wednesday Writing Challenge:

  1. Must be family friendly.
  2. Hate and intolerance will not be accepted.
  3. No pornography, erotica, graphic violence or excessive profanity.

My aim is to maintain a site that’s open to a wide audience. I write for middle grade on up to adults. I will review any content shared on my site, and reserve the right to remove any link.

Please, have fun. Be creative. And let’s write more words!