writing prompts

#TastyTuesday Writing Prompt


Nothing brings people together like food. We all need it–there’s no getting around that fact. Beyond simply existing as sustenance, food is such a wonderfully rich expression of our humanity–we share our cultures, our family traditions, our own joy in the creating and sharing of something that does far more than keep us alive.

Which brings me to the matter at hand: your oh so yummy, #TastyTuesday writing prompt! Getting to know our characters can be as simple as knowing their favorite foods. Food is also a way to ground difficult or abstract narratives or complex worlds…showing what keeps your characters sustained and living contributes to world-building in the most relateable, practical ways. Think about the following questions for your main characters:

  • What is your character’s go-to comfort food when stressed?
  • What meal do they absolutely dread but know they can expect (and that they must partake of for fear of alienating others, hurting feelings, etc.) during family, civic, or social events?
  • What types of meals do your characters associate with major life events such as deaths in the family, civil unions, or celebrations of birthdays or careerĀ achievements?
  • What would be considered a super-rare delicacy in your character’s world? Is it a chocolate bar in the trembling hands of a world-weary dystopian society rebel? A rare, cave-dwelling fish or a moonflower that can only be harvestedĀ on the night of a lunar eclipse? Would your character have ever tasted such a thing, even?
  • What food would be your character’s biggest “guilty” pleasure–as in, something they are embarrassed to admit to liking as violently as they do because it’s considered icky, weird, gauche, or any other number of reasons?

Have some fun thinking about these little things a bit and maybe even write a drabble, paint or draw an image of or create a collage for what mealtime looks like in your world. I know it’s helped me make my worlds more real and alive than they would be if my characters didn’t take a moment to sit and smell the legume protein mash or delicate star-blooms or fried green tomatoes. Happy creating, and if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to raid the cabinets. <3

Writing Prompts Box: For When Your Muse Is On The Can

Oh, hello there. This post (which has been cued for over a month now) is brought to you by coffee and the letter W. Today, I’m here to introduce my Super Awesome Easy Writing Prompts System, guaranteed to produce mind-boggling results in just moments. Seriously–just watch the infomerical read on.

So, sometimes–actually a lot of times–my brain stalls and writing cannot happen with a stalled brain. But at a writer, momentum and daily routine is important. I need to write, even if it’s just a line or two. I’ve used a lot of cheats and prompts and block-busting exercises over the years, but I come back again and again to this easy one. All you need is an index card box with dividers and three stacks of around 50 index cards. I personally use a different color for each stack of cards since I’m a visual learner, but any old cards will work.


Each stack will have one kind of word: one stack for evocative nouns, one for character ideas and archetypes, and the last for verbs. I sat down with a friend and we brainstormed together to generate at least 25 of each of these. For example:

Nouns: cat, trunk, carriage, tome, mountain, meteor, ship

Characters/Archetypes: child, mage, flight attendant, warrior, Artemis, mentor, father

Verbs: sing, leap, slice, murmur, clang, wrest, run

The idea is to create a box of words that you can use to generate writing prompts for when your Muse is on the can. To create a prompt, I pull three cards and to write a piece based on what I draw. For my own prompts, the rules are simple: one card from each stack, no less than 100 words of writing total, and writing for no more than an hour. What does this accomplish? Lots.

Finite and specific prompts take the pressure off the stressed-out writerly mind. They create a specific assignment with clearly-defined parameters–three words to generate 100 or more words of writing in an hour or less. There is nothing at stake and no pressure for the work to be any good. Exercises like these free our subconscious minds from SRS BIDNESS mode so that they can play, play, play. Without the pressure to create a masterpiece but just enough structure to give us a nudge, we can come up with some remarkable raw stuff and break through blocks like Drano through clogged pipes. Instead of that paralyzing, blank-page terror we can regain momentum.

Finally, writing prompts can be super-duper fun even when writers block is not an issue. When writing starts to feel more like drudgery than happy-squee-funtimez, I know that I need to take a break. Seeing a project to completion involves a certain amount of trudging, sure. Completing/revising a manuscript is worky as heck. But losing that sense of wonder and excitement is a very real danger for a lot of us. Exercises like this keep the fun alive and keep those fingers dancing over the keys!

Are there any exercises or tricks that you use to get your writing out of its rut and to give your Muse a shot in the arm? If so, I’d love to hear them. Happy writing, ya’ll! <3