Working through Writer’s Block with Writing Prompts

Writing is a skill, and just like any other skill, it’s one that is improved over time, through constant work and dedication, and through the practice of always challenging yourself and seeing how far your writing can take you. But just like any other endeavor, there are certain challenges that writers inevitably face, with one of them being writer’s block.

Anyone who has ever tried to get some writing done, be it for recreational or academic purposes, has experienced writing block. Some would argue that there are actually many kinds of writer’s block, stemming from either the inability to come up with an idea on what to write about, or the inability to commit to an idea, or even just the inability to focus. As such, there are many different strategies presented for combating writer’s block as well. One easy way that’s proven quite effective is the use of writing prompts.

Writing prompts are often used in Creative Writing classes to give students an idea of what to write about, but even when you’re just writing recreationally, they can still be a big help. You’ll find several sources of writing prompts online, but for a more convenient option, you can actually start using your smartphone. As the operators of Free Casino Hunter have said, growth in mobile internet is one of the most powerful trends on the internet landscape today, and this has prompted many writers to begin turning to their phones for help with their projects. We now have apps such as Writeometer, which help writers keep track of writing goals with daily notifications and progress charts, even several choices of word processors so we can work on our projects right off of our phones. Among the most helpful, however, are the apps that help writers decide *what* to write about.

If you’re having trouble coming up with a plot for your next short story, you may want to try the following apps:

1 Writing Prompts and Exercises

Created by JG Applications, the Writing Prompts and Exercises app gives users several choices for easy inspiration. When starting up the app, users can choose to be presented with a “Random First Line”, “Random Subject”, “Random Character”, or a “Random Plot”, making it an easy go-to app for those without the slightest idea what to write about. The prompts are taken from WritingExercises.co.uk, and can be accessed even without an internet connection.

2. Writing Prompts

The premise behind ARC Apps’ Writing Prompts app is quite simple: they want to give users prompts that can be used regardless of how far along a story they may be. As such, the prompts presented by the app are short and sweet, including lines like “You keep your suitcase with you at all times; its contents are very valuable.” and “You stare out the car’s side window at the brightly lit downtown storefronts when an item catches your attention.”

3. Story Plot Generator

Also created by ARC Apps, the Story Plot Generator app is unique in that it allows you to choose the genre that you want your next project to be. The free version of the app has options for Action/Thriller, Misfortune/Drama, SciFi/Space, Murder Scene, Fantasy/Magic, Horror/Suspense, and Romance, while PRO users get access to prompts for Superheroes and Apocalypse stories. Each genre then has the following items: Situation, such as “You are buried underground”; Detail, such as “You have a note with a time and date scribbled on it”; Complication, such as “You are cold [or warm] and have no weapon”; and Objective, such as “You must regain your memory”. With these building blocks, writers can create complex stories, and see how far their writing skill can take them.

Writing prompt apps like these can even see further use with the help of character generators, which provide writers with the details and backstory of characters if they’re having trouble fleshing their own characters out. It’s important, however, to veer away from these generators as often as you can. These should serve as a guide, and never a crutch.

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About suehealy

Award-winning Irish writer/playwright Sue Healy’s work has been supported and developed by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Arts Council England. January 2018 sees her play Imaginationship run for three weeks at the Finborough Theatre. Previous productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s work has also been performed at the Finborough, Arcola, Hackney Attic and Sterts theatres, and at festivals including the Claremorris Fringe (New Writing Award winner), the Brighton (Sussex Playwrights’ Award winner), the UEA Contemporary European Drama Festival, Norwich. Her work will also be showcased at the Criterion theatre on Dec. 4th. Radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been a finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamon Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and the Old Vic 12 New Voices. Sue's prose has won the the Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award and has been published widely. Sue has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from juried artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She is currently London-based, completing a Ph.D. on the Royal Court Theatre. Sue is an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the Universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, and tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. She is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. View all posts by suehealy

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