Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Writing Prompts 1

Happy Halloween!  Here is my greeting to you all for a safe Halloween filled with lots of wonderful things.             

Make sure you check out this poem by Donna Pflueger called, "The Autumn Witch of Oak Creek Canyon." 

For our creative writing prompts today, we will reflect on things in the spirit of the supernatural.  Give yourself the freedom to explore things that are out of the ordinary.

Here are some starters, and you can use them to write a poem, story, essay, song, or anything you would like:

1.  When black cats prowl and pumpkins gleam. . .
2.  The laughter I heard was like. . .
3.  The moon glowed with wicked radiance. . .
4.  All of a sudden, my friends were gone and . . .
5.  There was something funny about that cat. . .
6.  I never believed in ghosts until. . .
7.  She always wondered what it would be like to fall in love with a vampire. . .
8.  He had no idea he was falling in love with a witch. . .

And last, but not least, "It was a dark, stormy night. . . " (Sorry, I just couldn't resist!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Writing Prompts: Your Whole Heart

Hearts For Necklace by perpetualplum
Hearts For Necklace, a photo by perpetualplum on Flickr.

Creative Writing Prompts with Hearts

For today's creative writing prompts, we will meditate on hearts. 

What is the last thing you remember doing with your whole heart?

Write an essay, poem or song about it. 


Write a story about someone doing something with his or her whole heart. Perhaps something so meaningful it changes the character, or the people the character interact with. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Creative Writing Prompts at Shoal Creek

Chert Glades 008 by jsigler
Chert Glades 008, a photo by jsigler on Flickr.
Creative Writing Prompts

Above is a beautiful picture of Shoal Creek.  Below is a poem, "Crossing Shoal Creek."  For today's creative writing prompts, we will use the photo and the poem for inspiration.

Fiction Writing:  Write the beginning of a short story that takes place in the setting of the picture.  Write for at least 10 minutes without stopping.

Creative Nonfiction:  Do you have any memories of any creek?  If so, write about them.

Poetry Prompt:  Write a poem that ends with the line, "so close we could have touched."  You can title your poem, "Poem Ending With a Line by J.T. Ledbetter," or credit the line in a note at the end of the poem. 

5-Minute Free Writes
Writing Starters: 

Write with the following phrases as your starting points.  All phrases are from J.T. Ledbetter's poem. 

1.  I waited for you to. . .
2.  Like mists off the. . .
3.  There was only the rain on the. . .

Enjoy the column below.  It was last week's feature, and I was so moved by it I wanted to post it here.  Thank you to this wonderful project that allows the article to be shared.  I love this program and hope it will live forever. 

American Life in Poetry Column #343 by Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the U.S.

Most of us have received the delayed news of the death of a family member or friend, and perhaps have reflected on lost opportunities. Here’s a fine poem by J. T. Ledbetter, who lives in California but grew up on the Great Plains.

Crossing Shoal Creek by J.T. Ledbetter

The letter said you died on your tractor
crossing Shoal Creek.
There were no pictures to help the memories fading
like mists off the bottoms that last day on the farm
when I watched you milk the cows,
their sweet breath filling the dark barn as the rain
that wasn’t expected sluiced through the rain gutters.
I waited for you to speak the loud familiar words
about the weather, the failed crops—
I would have talked then, too loud, stroking the Holstein
moving against her stanchion—
but there was only the rain on the tin roof,
and the steady swish-swish of milk into the bright bucket
as I walked past you, so close we could have touched.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2010 by J.T. Ledbetter, and reprinted from his most recent book of poetry, Underlying Premises, Lewis Clark Press, 2010, by permission of J.T. Ledbetter and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2009 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Writing Prompts with SURPRISE!

Surprise! by Greencolander
Surprise!, a photo by Greencolander on Flickr.
For today's creative writing prompts, we will focus on the element of surprise. Now, this cat is not faking it, that's for sure.

Creative nonfiction prompt: Think about a time when you were really surprised, whether it was a big surprise or a little one. Write about it for 10 minutes without stopping.

Poetry Prompt:
Write a poem with an element of surprise, or write a poem with a surprising line in it.

Fiction writing prompts:

1. Write a short story where one character surprises another.
2. If you are in the middle of a novel, take one of your characters and put the character in a situation where he or she is totally surprised.

Free Write: Free write about this cat. Give the cat a name and explore his internal thoughts about whatever it is that has surprised him.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Creative Writing Prompts: The Sounds of Autumn

Hello, everyone.  Today's creative writing prompts involve the background of nature's autumn sounds and the beautiful visuals.  All you have to do is listen and/or look, and then write what comes.  I will provide some starter lines below to help you along, too.   Feel free to write poetry, a song, an essay or story---go where the Muse leads you and ENJOY!

Starter lines:

1.  She loved the sounds of the leaves as she walked over them. . .
2.  Autumn is. . .
3.  They kissed as the leaves fell all around them. . .
4.  Of all seasons he hated autumn most because that was the season when it all started. . . .