How & Why To Use Writing Prompts #writingprompts #writersos #dirtywritingsecrets

True story: I wrote the entire first draft of Consequences (of defensive adultery) in response to writing prompts. So I’m a fan of this technique.

There are four main reasons WHY I love writing prompts so.

<<1>> They are an excellent way of developing a process-focused writing practice that eliminates the dreaded “what shall I write about today” paralysis. The “what” doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you write. So. Give me three little words… and five minutes… I’ll give you a short dirty story. Done.

<<2>> They take you our of your comfort zone. Maybe, left to your own devices, you would never start a scene with “The floor was cold and sticky, but…” or “It turned out he did know a thing or two about knots.” But that’s your writing prompt… and so you do.

<<3>> Similarly, writing prompts allow you to surprise yourself. We all tend to get into our ruts, right? Me, for example, I never describe anything. So give me a writing prompt such as “Write a scene that takes place under a pendant lamp”–which, by the way Sarah Selecky gave me when I was working through her writing prompts and creating Consequences–and I’m forced to think about setting. Lights, shadows. Furniture. If the lamp is hanging–for that, I think, is what a pendant lamp is–what is it hanging over? A table? An armchair?

Finally, as I kept on harping on in this fall’s courses, this thing we call inspiration–it’s really just NOT self-censorship.

<<4>> Writing prompts are an effective and easy way of subverting your inner censor and getting out of your own way. You’re not CHOOSING what to write about (you totally are, but that’s the game you’re playing with your censor–you’re pretending you’re just doing what you’re told) and so your censor isn’t quite sure how to go about stopping you. You’re just following instructions. Someone else’s instructions. You’re being a good little girl. Yes, you are.

Ha. You’re so not. Look at all that unbridled raw filth you’re putting down on the page. How did that happen?

So that’s the WHY. The HOW is really, really simple.

Step 1: Arrange to be fed a writing prompt every day.

There are thousands, possibly millions, of these sources on the Internet and in your library. Or–get yourself a writing/accountability buddy and commit to exchanging writing prompts at 6 am or 6 pm or midnight every day.

Step 2: Write.

You can give yourself a few extra rules. If you’re a beginning writer, I suggest setting a timer for five minutes the first day–seven minutes the next–and working your way up to a 15 minute writing session. As an intermediate writer, you should be writing to a natural stop, so that each of your little writing prompt scenes is indeed a scene–with a beginning, a middle, and a natural end. If you’re an advanced writer, you should be edging–more on that another time.

Step 3: Repeat the next day and the day after. 21-30 days in, you’ve built a habit.

Here are the first 21 writing prompts from More Than A Guilty Pleasure to get you started. BTW–for a writing prompt to really do its work… it has to surprise you. So don’t look at it until you’re ready to write.

Trust me.

Enjoy.

xoxo

mjanecolette

★★★

STAY IN TOUCH

TellMe@mjanecolette.com
INSTAGRAM * Twitter * GOODREADS * Facebook * LOVE LETTERS
mjanecolette.com

 💕 GET A FREE BOOK! 💕

🎃BUY BITTERSWEET HALLOWEEN🎃

About mjanecolette

Writer. Reader. Angster. Reformed Bohemian (not). Author of the erotic romance TELL ME, the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) CONSEQUENCES (of defensive adultery), the award-winning rom-com (she's versatile) CHERRY PIE CURE, and the just released TEXT ME, CUPID--a (slightly dirty) love story for 21st century adults who don't believe in love... but want it anyway. A sought-after speaker and presenter, Colette is also the author of the non-fiction collection of essays ROUGH DRAFT CONFESSIONS: not a guide to writing and selling erotica and romance but full of inside inside anyway, and the curator of the fab YYC Queer Writers anthologies Queer Christmas in Cowtown and Screw Chocolate. Coming in 2019: Once Upon A Queer Summer Night's in Cowtown.

37 comments

  1. Pingback: Welcome to Week 4 of More Than A Guilty Pleasure: Act 1, from Inciting Incident to First Climax | m jane colette

  2. Pingback: We had a bit of a break, but I think today you need a nudge… #writingprompt | m jane colette

  3. Pingback: After the DARK MOMENT… #writingprompt | m jane colette

  4. Pingback: m jane colette

  5. Pingback: Cherries, anyone? #writingprompt | m jane colette

  6. Pingback: It’s the last day of More Than A Guilty Pleasure! | m jane colette

  7. Pingback: “Orchids: a flower without shame. Just like her.” #writingprompt | m jane colette

  8. Pingback: He thought she’d forgive him #writingprompt | m jane colette

  9. Pingback: Today’s writing prompt will make you stretch yourself #writingprompt | m jane colette

  10. Pingback: Why do I have to bring the rope? #writingprompt | m jane colette

  11. Pingback: Happy Christmas (and a #writingprompt for the hardcore) | m jane colette

  12. Pingback: Happy New Year! May 2019 bring you everything your heart desires! (& a #writingprompt for the hardcore) | m jane colette

  13. Pingback: Tuesdays are for writing :) #writingprompt | m jane colette

  14. Pingback: Revenge sex? #writingprompt | m jane colette

  15. Pingback: “That’s the game we’re playing…” #writingprompt | m jane colette

  16. Pingback: But why are you wearing a mask? #writingprompt #amwriting | m jane colette

  17. Pingback: Today’s writing prompt might be a little kinky, but only if you are #writingprompt #amwriting | m jane colette

  18. Pingback: This week, we’re gonna use Frida Kahlo… #writingprompt #fridakahlo #amwriting | m jane colette

  19. Pingback: She would not leave empty-handed #writingprompt #getcreative #writingpractice | m jane colette

  20. Pingback: “I have a better use for clothespins.” #writingprompt #amwriting | m jane colette

  21. Pingback: Mmmmm, have fun with this one #writingprompt | m jane colette

  22. Pingback: Suddenly, everything made sense #writingprompt | m jane colette

  23. Pingback: Predator or prey? #writingprompt | m jane colette

  24. Pingback: It was a deceptively domestic moment #writingprompt | m jane colette

  25. Pingback: Today’s writing prompt is a little bit different #writingprompt | m jane colette

  26. Pingback: Red was not her favourite colour #writingprompt | m jane colette

  27. Pingback: Have fun with this one (I’m not the one who makes these dirty btw, it’s all YOU) #writingprompt | m jane colette

  28. Pingback: It wasn’t temptation. It was an invitation. #writingprompt | m jane colette

  29. Pingback: Maybe it was better not to know #writingprompt | m jane colette

  30. Pingback: Today’s #writingprompt combines text & image and issues a challenge | m jane colette

  31. Pingback: Today’s #writingprompt is about how penises are overrated. Sort of | m jane colette

  32. Pingback: He quit smoking a decade ago, but man, he needed a cigarette now. #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

  33. Pingback: The bedroom was empty but the closet wasn’t #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

  34. Pingback: He didn’t believe in curses, but… #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

  35. Pingback: It was like the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet, as directed by Tim Burton #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

  36. Pingback: She was not going to surrender without a fight #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

  37. Pingback: That was when he noticed the heavy duty anchors in the ceiling #writingprompt #dirtywritingsecrets | m jane colette

Tell me...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s