We're about halfway through summer, so where is your writing life at today? What are you working on? How's it coming?
For this month’s Visual Writing Prompt, take a gander at this photo. It is rife with questions that gnaw at the brain. Who is the woman? Who is the child? What are they thinking? Where are they going? Where are they coming from? Are they abandoning their trailer? And perhaps most ominously, what do those looming clouds represent?
What just happened? What will happen next? What would you like to happen next? What do you fear most?
If you come up with some answers, or perhaps just more questions, or better yet an actual story idea, feel free to post it in the comments below. Or, just keep it for yourself and keep writing!
Click here to view pervious writing prompts.
This month’s musical writing prompt comes from the Wolfman soundtrack. No, not the original black and white one, but the one that came out a few years back. The soundtrack is by Danny Elfman and it is quite good. We highly recommend it, if you are into soundtracks.
So click play and give it a listen. Let the creative juices flow and try to write something. If you feel like sharing, you can do so below in the comments. We would love to read your reactions to the prompts and feature the best of the best, when we can. Whatever the case, we hope this month’s track gets you going.
Click here to view previous writing prompts.
For our first Visual Writing Prompt, we have this intriguing photo from Felix Russell-Saw. So take a long look at it, and consider the possibilities of what in the world is happening in this photo. Let it guide you somewhere. To a story, to a character, to something.
And if you feel like sharing with the community, post your little story from the prompt in the comments below. We will feature the best of the best and possibly publish an anthology of prompt responses some day.
But enough about that, look. Stare. Gander. And let the creative juices flow.
This month we introduce a new way to get creative and maybe even help with breaking writer's block. That's right, it's called a Musical Writing Prompt.
With these prompts we won't be providing you with a visual or words or themes, simply a song. One song to listen to and let your mind wonder, meditate. Let the music guide you to a story you might not have thought of otherwise, or build on one you already know.
If you do come up with something, please write it below in the comments and share with the rest of the community. Especially, because we will be featuring the best ones on the site and maybe even publish some of the really fantastic ones.
But for now, just click play and listen to John Carpenter's song Night from his "Lost Themes" album.
Written by Kat Folland, edited by Nathan Weaver.
Your inner editor is that voice in your head that tells you when you’ve made a typo, or written an awkward sentence, etc. A strong inner editor is not a bad thing, most of the time.
When you’ve written your first draft you can let that strong inner editor loose on your work and hopefully avoid humiliation when you first hand your draft to another reader. If you have a weak inner editor you should get as much outside help as possible.
Written by Philip Neale, edited by Nathan Weaver.
My name is Philip Neale and I am a UK author. The main focus of my writing, under the pseudonym ‘Neal James’, is crime fiction. I am an accountant by trade, and use spreadsheets constantly in that line of business. It was therefore quite a small step to transpose that skill into the structuring of my writing.
I usually begin with a fairly basic plan of writing forty chapters of a novel containing 1,500 words each. This, I find, provides me with a fairly easy template with which to plan a story. I never get fixated on the fact that 40 x 1,500 = 60,000 words, and the novel plan rarely ends up in so simplistic a form.
Let me give you an example. Here is the basic layout of my latest novel, ‘Three Little Maids’, when I commenced the planning stage of the book.
Written by Trent Becker, edited by Nathan Weaver.
Balancing being a human and being a writer is quite a difficult task, especially when it isn’t one’s career or greatest source of income. For me, one of the hardest aspects of making time for writing is that I see it as a hobby; often, I feel pressured to take care of every necessary task before picking up my pen. And sometimes, unfortunately, when I get everything done that needs doing (just kidding—is this even possible?) or I put some things off to make time for writing, I find I can’t write. I can’t tell you how frustrating this is when I have as much passion for it as I do. Writer’s block is not something I’m proud to admit I face. Maybe because I think it’s weak? Or because it isn’t talked about as much in my circle of writing friends? Whatever the reason, I’ve accepted it as a real issue that needs to be dealt with.
Over the years that I’ve struggled with this phenomenon, I’ve developed some skills and techniques of working through it. They’re not bullet-proof, and I don’t use the same method every time, but it’s definitely helped me overcome it and get something on the page.
Written by Nathan Weaver, edited by Jake Cesarone.
There is no right or wrong way to develop names for your characters. But sometimes it can be difficult to just magically come up with names that just work for your characters and perfectly fit them.
We've put together a short list of some possibilities for developing names. Hopefully these are ideas you’ve not thought of yet, and you can find a new treasure trove of names you’ve not thought of by the end of reading this post. Be sure to share with us ways you find helpful in the comments we may not have thought of sharing.
Written by Nathan Weaver.
NOTE. This is an early draft of Nathan Weaver's Sweet Sixteen Killer novella, the first in a series of books following the cases of private detective Mercedes Masterson. Please let us know what you think of this early look of the story in the comments below.
Emily Fuller had been trying to find an opportune time to interject into the dinner conversation and ask her mom, Janet, if she could sleepover with her friend, Amy Matthews, the upcoming weekend. But it became clear after thirty minutes of her parents complaining about their respective jobs that it just wasn’t going to happen. So she interrupted her mom during what appeared to be a breath.
“Mom, is it OK if I go hangout with Amy this weekend?” She asked.
Janet looked at her suspiciously. “An overnighter?”
“Yeah.” Emily replied.
“No.” Janet said bluntly without reason.
“Why not?” Emily asked. “We don’t have anything going on.”
“I just don’t want you spending too much time out all night.” Janet said.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Emily asked.
“I know how you two are, you leave the house and go out in all times of the night, doing who knows what.” Janet said. “Her parents are useless and don’t keep track of you two, and I don’t wanna see you get hurt.”
“You mean laid?” Emily shot back.
“I didn’t say that, Emily.”
“You were thinking it,” Emily started, “Jeez, mom, I’m not a whore!”
Bradley, Emily’s dad, finally chimed in with a disapproving tone. “Emily, come on.”
“Come on what, dad?” Emily shouted. “Mom’s over here accusing me and my best friend of hooking or slutting around, and you’re just sitting there with your tail between your legs.”
“What do you do, then?” Janet asked.
“None of your goddamn business, mom!”
“Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain,” Janet chided.
“Screw you.” Emily said and jumped out of her chair. “Is that better?” She raised both of her middle fingers and waved them around in the air. “Not everyone is a slut like you were in high school.” She stormed out of the room as Janet yelled back at her and demanded her to come back and listen to her. Emily slammed her bedroom door, sending crashing sounds and vibrations reverberating throughout the whole house. She grabbed her backpack from her bed and tossed it to the floor. She flopped on her bed and began to text Amy.