These prompts are used to assist students in their writing. Set a time for ten minutes and see what happens to the writing.
1. Turn on the TV or radio - the station does not matter - and listen for just a few seconds. Write down the first phrase you hear, and let that phrase serve as the prompt. How you use it is up to you: It can be the first line of your story, a bit of dialogue for a character, or whatever you wish.
2. You discover a loose footboard in a corner of your attic or the back of your closet. Without too much effort you are able to pry the board loose. What do you find underneath the floorboard? Something frightening? Something nostalgic? Let your imagination delve into the details- what does it look like? Smell like? What emotions does it stir?
3. Imagine the best (or worst) possible thing you can receive as a gift from someone. Write about opening the package and discovering what is inside of it.
4. Think of a favorite accessory or piece of clothing from your past -- a hat, scarf, glove, belt buckle,or anything else that evokes vivid memories. Write about the images and the feelings that come to mind.
5. Recall a place from your childhood that intrigued or frightened you. Describe the details your remember about that location -- were there things about it that you always wondered about? An unopened door, an untaken path or a darkened patch of woods? Write about what might have awaited you there.
6. Your phone rings in the middle of the night. Reveal what happens in the next ten minutes.
7. Pick a minor character from a favorite TV show or movie, and explore the main plot from that character's point of view. Write about the aspects of the story only he or she would know about.
8. Plan the perfect crime. You have ten minutes.
9. Describe the first time you drove a car (or the first time you remember riding in one). What kind of car was it? Who was with you? Include sights, smells and sensations.