Five Writing Prompts

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A few weeks ago we shared Five Ideas to Keep You Writing Over the Summer Holidays. Writing is an excellent way to practise your spelling, but what do you do when inspiration doesn’t strike? Here are five ideas to help you get those creative juices flowing:

  1. Automatic writing
    A method the writers across the world swear by, this exercise is bound to help you generate ideas. Set your timer for five minutes and start writing – don’t let your pen (or fingers if you’re typing) stop moving until your alarm goes off. Write whatever comes into your head, even if it doesn’t make sense. If you’d prefer, you can change the period of time you’re writing for to ten minutes, twenty minutes, or even longer. While at first it might seem like what you’re writing is nonsense, you’ll be surprised by quickly your brain will jump into action. When you read over what you’ve written, who knows what ideas will emerge?

  2. Let the alphabet guide your story
    In your margin, write one letter of the alphabet on each line and write down the first word that comes into your head beginning with each letter. Once you’ve got your twenty-six words try and fit them into a piece of writing. You could challenge yourself to describe a setting or try and fit in all the words into a conversation between two characters. While you probably won’t end up keeping everything you write in this exercise, trying to fit in some of the weirder words will certainly lead some original and unexpected prose.

  3. Pick up a book
    Pick up the nearest book, open it on a random page, and write down the first sentence your eyes fall on. This is now your first line – see where it takes you. If you don’t have a book to hand, this method also works with anything with writing: junk mail, newspapers, online articles. Use whatever you have at hand to prompt you.

  4. Rewrite a memory
    What’s your earliest memory? Write it out focussing on the five senses. What about your happiest or saddest memory? Try writing it from the point of view of someone else who was there. If you would rather not use your own memories, choose your favourite character and explore something that might have happened to them before the story they appear in. Or write one of your favourite scenes from the point of view of a peripheral character. You’ll soon be buzzing with ideas!

  5. Fill in the blanks
    Try building on one of these scenarios:

    • You wake up somewhere you don’t recognise with no recollection of how you got there. What do you see? Can you hear anything? Are there any clues you can use to help you work out what happened?

    • You arrive at your parents’ or friends’ house and something seems slightly off. Maybe you hear them fighting about something? Maybe something isn’t where it usually is. What happens next?

    • A stranger tells you their life story. What do you learn?

If you enjoyed this post, you might like our other articles on writing:

02 Aug 2018
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"Thank goodness for Spellzone during this remote learning phase. The site is easy for students to navigate independently and they're really enjoying the activities and spelling games. You get an awful lot for your money with Spellzone. Really reassuring is the very prompt response with helpdesk queries. I've very rarely needed the helpdesk, but when I have, the issue has been addressed and sorted within a very short time."

Sarah Taggart, Oasis Academy Lord's Hill