Wednesday 25 February 2015

Creative writing prompts

Last year, I had the great honour of being invited to run a writer's group for teenagers at my local library. One of the questions that keeps coming up is about finding inspiration. To start each session, I try and think of a writing prompt to get the kids creative juices flowing.

I find that writing prompts are great to clear any blocks that are lurking to stop  you writing.

Some of the prompts I've used may be useful for you too.

Get a bar of chocolate, we had a box of Favourites, and use this as your prompt. The colour of the wrapper, the taste of the bar, the words on the side, anything can be used to start a piece of writing.

Pick up a piece of jewellery. Your prompt could be anything from the story of the item to a descriptive piece to using it as an item in your story.

A toy can start an adventure. Pick up a toy and use it to tell a story. It could be anything from some pieces of Lego to start the story of a building to a telling the tale from the point of view of a teddy bear.

Fan Fiction:
Using the characters from some of your favourite TV shows or movies, write a piece from another point of view, or putting the character into an unusual position. This can be a fun exercise to clear any blockage.

Find a photograph - it could be one of your collection, or something you find on Pinterest or even a stock photo - and write its story.

Grab the nearest object to your left or right (excluding your computer mouse!), and that becomes your writing prompt. Is there a strange way you can use that item, or write the story of where that object came from.

These are a few of the writing prompts I've used for the teen writer's group, and used them myself. The results have been fantastic and went in more places than I ever imagined. If you have some blocks to writing, or even just to have something fun to write to get started in your writing time, give some of these a try. You never know what may come of them.

Melissa Gijsbers lives in Melbourne and writes in between working as a bookkeeper and being the mother of two active boys. She is a blogger and author of flash fiction and children's books. Her first book, Swallow Me, NOW! is now available.

Follow her writing journey at


  1. Great ideas Melissa. Thanks. I find I have some many ideas floating around in my brain - a backlog of things I want to write and far more than I reasonably can any time soon. Though prompts do help with poetry for me.

  2. Hi Melissa - love some extra writing prompts, so thank you!

    I bet you enjoy your afternoons with your writing group. No doubt there are some talented writers in there. Teens never fail to amaze me with their writing. Thanks for a practical and inspiring post. :)

  3. Thanks Jeanette & Andrea. The group is incredibly enthusiastic and talented :) I'm looking forward to saying "I knew them when..." :)

    I find that doing a snippet with a silly writing prompt often clears the blocks in my head to let the multitude of ideas out :)


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