Writing prompts are something that I find interesting. They are short and have the potential to bring all sorts of ideas either for full stories or for pieces of stories. A while back I decided to start collecting them and I have a lot of them. Some I have even used for my own stories. Many more I want to use and have not yet found a place to use them.
Since I am a fan of them and there are so many out there I have decided to share both some of my favorites that I have found and some that I have created myself. From what I’ve seen some people lump them all together as writer/writing prompts and while others divide them up into categories. The main ones I have seen are general writing prompts, dialogue prompts, and character banks, sometimes called character cache.
I’ve also come across whump prompts and angst prompts recently which were both new terms for me. They appear to be more like subtypes of prompts rather than prompt types in their own right. As such I will be making note of them, but will stick to the initial three as the main categories for prompts I post. Since some prompts do have these on the prompt, I am including them in this explanation, but they do appear to not be their own unique type.
Before I start sharing these It only makes sense to define what they are. The definitions are worded using the basic concept of what they are in context of this writer prompt series.
▪ an image or brief piece of text used to prompt ideas or act as a starting point for a situation of emotional or mental torture of a character.
▪ an image or brief piece of text used to prompt ideas for a character or group of characters.
▪ a brief piece of text containing only dialogue and possibly bland tags showing no action or emotion outside of what the dialogue conveys.
▪ an image or brief piece of text used to prompt ideas or act as a starting point for a situation of physical torture or violence toward a character.
▪ an image or brief piece of text used to prompt ideas or act as a starting point for a work of writing, either fiction or nonfiction.
I’m on Pinterest and if you would like to check them out I have a few boards with a ton of prompts. Most of these will be going there or coming from there, but there are a lot of them that will be left out simple because I have so many of them.
My writing prompts board is for all prompts that don’t fit under the dialogue or character bank entry. Whump prompts and angst prompts will be mixed in there and only differentiated by subcategories of relevance.
By far the smallest of my Pinterest boards for prompts is my character bank board. And while it’s small, it has over one hundred different characters and character types on there, so it’s not exactly low on content. In addition, I will be adding to it as I find more characters there that interest me.
Somewhere in the middle you have the dialogue prompt board. It was mostly created, because there were so many prompts on the main board that these got lost. I like it, because it is entirely dialogue, inspiring ideas via the words said rather than by concepts described in the main board. While similar, it takes a different approach and does not include any indication of what the people are doing or thinking other than the exact words they say, which means you can create a different story entirely by interpreting the words differently.
Each of these is fun in their own way and I would love to see stories made about all of them whether I write them or I get the privilege of reading someone else’s interpretation of them.
Some Last Words
A new prompt will be posted each day with some comments I have on it. Angst and whump prompts will be tagged as such, but they will also be fit under whatever less specific type they fit under since they can be dialogue or description or potentially even character bank listings and I would like to keep those organized that way. If I have used the prompt in something at the time of posting, I will include what I did with it and I look forward to hearing what you think of them. If any of you have used them, then I would love to hear about that, too.
There are a lot of ways that you can handle this. These are useful tools that you can use as written or use to inspire something else. What do you like about writing prompts and do you have any favorites you’d like to share? If you want me to include some of your favorites, let me know what they are.