This guest post is by Andre Cruz. Andre is an indie author who loves to help other writers find success. You can follow his creative writing advice blog at andrecruz.net. Thanks Andre!

We all face a point in our writing careers when we feel the heavy weight of writer’s block crushing our muse. We all have moments where we want to write but can’t because nothing comes to mind. Well, nothing that we consider worthwhile that is.

writing interruptions

Photo by Send me adrift. (Creative Commons)

When you think about it, about the moments you were stuck behind your writer’s desk with the page reading blank, you had plenty of thoughts on what to write. I know I always do. The thing that stops us from writing down those thoughts varies depending on the writer.

How to Break Your Writer’s Block

I could go all Dr. Phil on you and talk about how we tend to build our writer’s blocks ourselves mainly due to self-confidence issues, but I would rather offer some solutions instead. No, I am not going to tell you to record the phrase “you are a bestselling writer” and play it back to yourself when you are sleeping.

I am going to talk to you about how to break through whatever is stopping you from writing by using creative writing prompts.

Creative writing prompts can be a single word or phrase that you write down. Either way, you try to make a full story from them. They always work wonders for me, since they are easy to start and always end up helping me with character, plot and world creation.

 

Five Fun Writing Prompts

Here are five fun writing prompts for you so that you can see how creative you can get with them.

  1. He cut the car’s engine with a bloody, trembling hand and stopped his breath to listen for pursuers, but his pounding heart left him deaf to anything else that could be lurking in the night.
  2. She smelled roses as soon as she walked into the candle lit room and saw him lying on the bed naked except for a single rose he wore on his genitals.
  3. “Not all men are dogs,” he grinned, “but in my case, woof.”
  4.  They were too late.
  5. She held the aluminum bat like a torch with her head held high as she made her way toward the office parking lot. She could feel her coworkers’ eyes staring down at her from their 9-to-5 prison cells. She smiled to more than just herself, but to the realization that she was no longer like them. She had broken free and now she was going to break something else. She just hoped it was the only thing that made her ex-boss happy and that it was parked in its usual spot.

The wonderful thing about creative writing prompts is that they can be simplistic or very descriptive. They can be part of the narrative or dialogue. You don’t even have to name any characters in them.

The point is that they make you write about something that has the potential to be a story by getting your creative writing juices flowing when your curiosity about the prompt forces you to think about the actual story behind the prompt. This leads to character, plot and world creation.

For example, look at the first creative writing prompt. Suspenseful, right? I hope so. When you write a prompt this way, it really helps you create a story because it makes you curious about the story behind the prompt. One of the first things it forces me to wonder is how did the character get into this situation. Then come more questions like who is he and who is out there in the dark? This writing prompt, like the rest of them, keep my mind focused on building the story for each question that the prompt makes me ask.

Write Your Own Prompts

So let’s fast forward a little and say that you used a writing prompt to start a story. You are pages into it and then become stuck again. It happens so don’t fret. You can use writing prompts like jumper cables to bring life back into your story. You can take elements from your story, such as characters and settings, and create new writing prompts from them, which will lead to more scenes that you can tie into your story.

You may even be surprised by stumbling across a great subplot, adding more complexity to your story. What reader wouldn’t like that?

Give this exercise a try and let me know how it helps you.

What do you do to break through writer’s block?

PRACTICE

Choose a prompt above and write for fifteen minutes. When you’re finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, be sure to leave feedback on a few practices by other writers.

Happy writing!

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Guest Blogger
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