Andrea Foster the BOOKLADY

Writers' Prompts


1.  Pot lucks!  I love to stick my hand in a box, and pull out a random name or topic.  Here's some fun ideas for what I call "Pot luck writing prompts"!

  • Find a website with names, and create a boxful of odd names which invoke characters.  My favorite website for this is .
  • Open your dictionary at random, close your eyes, and let your fingers do the walking to pick a word.  Write a paragraph, short story, or essay using that word.
  • Create a boxful of words that can be either emotionally charged or highly evocative of imagery.  That word will start the essay.  Here are some of my favorites:  Mother. Night.  The cat. The dog. Beauty.  Hell.  Morning.
  • Create a boxful of interesting phrases that will act as a beginning to an essay or story.  here are some examples:  a) I knew it was too good to be true.  2) I'd hate to disappoint you.  3)  He/she didn't have to tell me more than once.   4)  He/she gave me a look that would kill.  5)  I was in trouble, and I knew it. 

2.  Go to your computer, and look up "art photos" or "photos of people".  Pick an image, and write a story about what is happening in the picture.

3.  Write some haiku poetry.  Usually based on nature, this Japanese poetry format has 3 lines, 1 with 5 syllables, followed by 1 with 7 syllables, followed by 1 with 5 syllables.  Example:

Poets writing songs

Whispering souls still singing

Life is live music

4.  Ask your friend or family member to randomly give you a word--or two!  Then write on that.  You'll have to find a way to join the two.

5.  Listen to different kinds of music, and see what images and stories the music invokes.  Classical works like Pini di Roma can make you write with power or of power.  Other classical music or new age music can remind you of love or thoughtful topics.  Jazz by Eric Dolphy or Ornette Coleman may remind you of cities or urban settings.  Pat Metheny or world music can take you around the world.  Irish and Asian music may invoke fairies and devas.  Have fun with it!