Growing up is a universal experience with a myriad of variations. Some cultures and families have rituals that young people follow or rebel against to find their way to adulthood or self-actualization. Others are left to stumble through their entire life trying to figure out how to experience happiness.
We often think of coming of age or initiation stories as a journey from adolescence to adulthood, but some adults reach legal age without becoming a mature person. They can undergo a coming of age story much later.
Let’s look at some prompts to write coming of age stories.
If you’re lucky enough to be asked to speak at a commencement ceremony, at any level, you know the pressure of writing a memorable speech with broad appeal that fits within the time constraints. But how to write a graduation speech that doesn’t bore, drag, or flop? Here’s a secret: use your storytelling skills to write a great graduation speech.
The first time I wrote a novel, I didn’t think about genre until the first draft was done, and I began trying to untangle my mess in revision. After two painful years (mostly comprised of avoidance, procrastination, and general despair), I hired a developmental editor who began our first phone call by asking, “What kind of book is this?” and “Who is your ideal reader?”
“It’s for everyone,” I said. I could hear the rise and fall of my breathing in the silence.
“No, it isn’t,” she said in a kind, but firm voice. Within minutes, I realized I had skipped a clarifying question that would guide every step of the book process from the plot and characters to cover design and marketing.
Last week, I overheard a conversation at a neighboring table where a woman said, “He’s always trying to prove himself. It makes him look less competent than he is.” I didn’t know the parties involved, but I grabbed a napkin and jotted it down. When I added it to my notebook, I realized characters with something to prove often undermine their own success. And those insecurities make for an amazing writing prompt.
It’s National Poetry Month! I know, I know. You don’t want to write a poem, but what if I could show you a way to tap into a childhood memory to create a poem or scene that you could use in any kind of writing? Will you accept a poetry dare today?