I always associated writing prompts with getting started. Used to spark new ideas or stories. What I didn’t realise was that prompts can be used at any stage of the writing process (and at any skill level). Natasha Lester’s post on how she uses writing prompts really helped with this realisation.
So, while some prompts are clearly designed to spark new ideas, some can be used to get further inside your pre-existing characters and plots, to build new scenes and, essentially, write that novel (or something shorter, whatever floats your boat).
Writing prompts help develop scene ideas, expand your creativity and help you get unstuck or push through the saggy middle.
Don’t be afraid to use prompts just because you’ve had a few short stories published and now you think you’ve got this all figured out (*cough cough* me *cough*). They’re a tool available to any writer. You wouldn’t stop using a hammer when knocking in nails just because you’ve built a shelf before.
Here are some writing prompts specifically designed to help you keep going, because you should.
Pick one of your characters and finish the following sentences. Keep going until you have a scene or a decent chunk of text.
I reached into the bag to find…
I hate it when people…
Sometimes I wonder if…
My favourite kind of weather is…
When I’m alone I feel…
P.S. feel free to change the tense or use 3rd person etc.