Monday, November 16, 2015

Writing Prompts to the Rescue

Merriam-Webster’s describes prompt (noun) as: Something that reminds or prompts (verb). To prompt is to cue, stir, incite, or move to action. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out more.

A writing prompt is:
  • A word, phrase, paragraph, thought, object, or picture to give you an idea.
  • A creative kick-start.
  • A brainstorming session with your inner muse.
  • A way to overcome the notorious blank page.
  • A way to exercise your writing muscles.
  • A distraction from an intense project to get the creative juices flowing again.

A writing prompt is not:
  • A cure-all for writer’s block.
  • A magic potion that will make you a better or more active writer.
  • Something to take you away from a deadline.

Writing prompts can come from anywhere:
  • A single word or phrase.
  • An overheard conversation.
  • A sign.
  • A television program, movie, or video.
  • A child.
  • A dream.
  • Any inanimate object.

Writing prompts can be found everywhere and used anytime to get creativity flowing. Keep a list and pull it out whenever you need a boost or a distraction. Sometimes when we’re stuck on a project, it helps to change gears and work on something fun. Don’t limit yourself and—for all you natural editors—don’t try to edit, proofread, and make it perfect. 

Give yourself the liberty to be funny, serious, or totally outrageous with your words. Who knows … you might have the beginning of an article, great devotion, your first flash fiction piece, or the next best-seller. If you can’t use it, tuck it away and read it later when you need a good laugh.

Here’s your prompt for this week:

He begged for mercy, but . . .

If you’re up for the challenge, write two or three short paragraphs and leave them in the comment section. The winner will be announced on November 30. First prize is a $10 Starbucks gift card. Second place is a copy of Murder of a Manuscript: Writing and Editing Tips to Keep Your Book Out of the Editorial Graveyard.

Thanks for participating and happy writing!

(Photos courtesy of Miles.)



  1. He begged for mercy, but she wouldn’t give. She couldn’t. Marci had been hurt one too many times, and couldn’t bear to let him back into her life again. After twenty years of marriage, and the revelation of her husband’s affair, Marci just couldn’t bring herself to forgive him. Not yet, at least. Perhaps over time, and with much prayer, God would show her how.

    Marci replayed her husband’s words over and over in her mind the night he revealed his unfaithfulness. Like a slap in the face, his words stung fresh, and Marci doubled over in anguish once again.

    “You’re satisfied with being content,” he informed. “I want happiness. Don’t get me wrong, you’re a nice lady, but I want to be happy.”

    His words had stunned her then, and they stunned her now. How could this be? After twenty years of marriage and three wonderful boys, how could he just walk out? And now he wants to come back as if nothing had happened? Marci knew this was beyond what she could handle on her own. She would have to trust God to guide her in the days to come.

  2. He begged for mercy, but his fear of her wrath caused him to stutter and stumble over his words. Wringing his hands together he struggled to explain his failure and ineptitude. When he paused to draw in a deep breath and continue his tome she placed her finger on his lips and lifted her mouth into a soft smile.

    Eyes still wide with fright he continued his blubbering, but she silenced him with a comforting hand on his shoulder. Befuddled by her uncharacteristic behavior he stared at her with questioning eyes. She no longer pursed her lips in a tight, hard line, teeth clinched and eyes narrowed. Unknown to him bitterness and a stone-like heart no longer existed within her. In its place flowed a fountain of love and forgiveness.

    1. This is great, Jan. Thanks for sharing. :)


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