Prompt-Writing Hour

I wanted to share what I was able to accomplish during the prompt-writing hour of the writer’s conference I recently attended. This new technique really excited me – definitely a great way to write when I don’t really feel like writing.


1. Find a poem.

2. Pick out the main idea of the poem.

3. Use this main idea to create lists.

4. Build a scene during a timed writing.

This is how the steps above were used during our prompt-writing hour:

The poem “Riding Backwards” was read aloud. With this title/phrase/main idea written at the top of my page, I created two lists. The first was a list of literal ways one could “ride backwards.” (Riding backwards on a bike, a horse, riding backwards on a roller coaster, etc). The second was a list of metaphorical ways one could “ride backwards.” (One’s thoughts “ride backwards” as they reminisce, etc).

It was time to build a scene.

The three requirements: The scene must be written in present tense, the character must “ride backwards” (either literally or metaphorically), and the character must meet/come into contact with another character.

(I’m fairly certain I accidentally ignored the first requirement of writing the scene in the present tense. Which is exactly why I had no desire to share at the end).

I’m definitely going to do this again, on my own. There are so many creative poems to choose from, and you could really surprise yourself with what you’re able to come up with. This might also be something to try if you’ve come up against writer’s block. So give it a shot!

*Thanks to Jamie Morris for leading this prompt-writing hour.

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  1. Pingback: Tallahassee Writers Association Conference

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