Each year at L'ATELIER we spend a lot of time talking about balancing professional lives with family lives with writing lives, and how hard this can be. A week of concentrated writing time is a rare event, and although we often leave the retreat motivated to re-center our writing within our busy lives as much as possible, months pass and writing can start to fall to the periphery.
In 2018 one of my resolutions was to integrate lots of different art into my writing world, and to use those experiences to broaden my writing and inspire me to write more, even if that writing isn’t directly connected to my current novel-in-progress. To do this I’m using writing prompts, something I've never really done before—and much to my surprise, I am finding these prompts really helpful. Obviously not all of them, and there is no magic formula for sitting down at my desk and getting up an hour later with 1000 words drafted. But I do find there is a wonderful freedom in approaching my writing from different angles, from finding different pathways into my work, and even branching out into new kinds of writing, depending on where the prompt takes me.
So, without further ado, I’ll be posting a writing prompt at the blog here each month. Like the prompts I'm using for my own practice, these will be varied: images, ideas, directives, revision-based, musical, and anything else. The idea is to spark creative practice, however possible. I'll try to make these applicable to writers who are going in and out of longer works, but also applicable for those who may be generating new material.
And the first one is:
Take a book off your shelf (preferably fiction, but anything with dialogue should work). Leaf through and find a line of dialogue. Now take the character you are working on in your own novel or story and give that character the line of random dialogue. Work from there to expand a scene or start a scene.