Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Prompts for Writers (and other creative types)

How's your week been? Have you been writing like you'd hoped? The A-Z Challenge is over tomorrow?!?! What the what? Having participated in the past, I know how you feel. The LAST thing you want to read about is MORE writing, right?

Or maybe you're a glutton for punishment. A veritable pen on fire! You want more! You crave more! You NEED more! Your Muse is hungry and, like Dorian Gray, it's going to do whatever it takes to stay on top and in the public eye.

OK, hopefully your Muse isn't going to paint a cursed picture of itself and hang it in your attic just to keep itself young. Then again, that WOULD make an interesting writing prompt, wouldn't it? For those of you who need a little jolt to the Muse or who love collecting creative ideas, this weekly prompt post is for YOU!

Happy creating :)


original image found on tumblr by dreamanddiscover

He found himself staring into oblivion. Rocks in his pockets, he could Virginia Woolf and be no more. He hand't the guts, the blazing courage to do it. There was a whisper in the waves; they were calling. Did the ocean want him to die? Or was it something else, something glistening in the tide pool just steps from his sunburned feet?



Have you ever read an allegory? If you took any advanced English classes in high school or college, you did. If you've read John Bunyan's A Pilgrim's Progress, you most certainly have. Allegories are narratives "in which abstract principles are represented by persons, places, or objects" (White, 3). They are wonderful at illustrating the essence of storytelling. In an allegory, a worthy goal is "fraught with obstacles the hero must triumph over" and they "convey wisdom by translating abstract principles into dramatic incidents" (White, 3). 

Try writing an allegory. Not with publication in mind, but to help your character get out of a rough situation. Perhaps you're stuck and you can't figure out how to move the plot along. Perhaps your character is growing weary clinging to the cliff face while you try to decide how best to rescue him. Give your character a goal he or she struggles to obtain. Make the obstacles blatantly obvious by their names. These obstacles can be represented by people, places, or things. Any noun will do :).

("Uses of Allegory" is taken from Fred White's book, "The Daily Writer: 366 Meditations to Cultivate a Productive and Meaningful Writing Life")

Happy Writing and as always, if you use any of these, please share! 
I'd love to see what your Muse is up to, creepy self-portraits included. 



  1. Allegory. The next time I get stuck I will try that.

  2. My muse just likes to go and go, 120 posts ahead at my show

  3. I have to say, I'm a bit weary from trudging up the Mountain of Blogging, especially with the Obstacles of Day Job and Family mixed in, so I think I've save this awesome prompt for another week. Thanks, though! :)

  4. didn't do a-z, but totally drained from finishing my revisions, so won't play today, but it's a great exercise.

  5. Haha! My muse is going to have to wait, unless he wants to grant me some extra and amazing imagery. I'm in the thick of revisions with the dreaded DEADLINE. *gulp* Wish me luck?

    True Heroes from A to Z

  6. I'm not very good with allegories.
    And I see a sea monster creeping up toward the shore. Yeah, just where my mind went...

  7. Hello Jen. I just finished typing up a worksheet on satire for my students which included Animal Farm, so I found several examples of allegory. Thanks for your 'uses'. I have more than enough writing to keep me busy, but I love what you've done with the image. I will be using images for the June prompt at WEP - romance, ahhhhhh....

    Hope all goes well.


  8. Great post!! I've never done the A to Z challenge, but I bet those people do need a nap :-)

  9. Robin: I haven't tried it either, but it sounds like an exercise worth trying!

    Pat: WOW! I'm going to guess that writer's block is never a problem for you!

    Liz: I totally understand. I just enjoy putting them out there to help people think differently.

    Karen: Makes sense! Congrats on finishing those revisions :)

    Crystal: Best of luck to you! Revisions are always draining.

    Alex: I've not tried allegory before. A sea monster. Indeed. Nothing wrong with that!

    Denise: Thanks! I love having prompts around just in case I ever need something new to write about :)

    Jamie: I did the Challenge the prior three years. Yes, you DO need a nap after all that blogging...but it's fun! Thanks for stopping by!


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy, fantastic life to pay a visit! I appreciate every, single comment and I'll continue the conversation here :) It makes this big blog-verse of ours feel a little more like home.

Cheers! ~J