"Real World" and Print Sources:
- The news. Especially the “strange stories” section. I just scan the headlines and see if something jumps out at me.
- Random words. Some of my prompts follow this format: “Amazing, Sleep, Support, Saving, Patience – Use at least 3 of these” These are literally words on papers next to my computer that I randomly glanced around and chose what my eyes first focused on. I’ve done this with words from book titles, too, just by scanning my shelves. And DVD titles.
- The Amazing Story Generator by Jay Sacher. In this fun book, every “page” is cut into three, and you can flip through and mix-and-match a setting, a character, and an action/plot.
- The Storymatic set of over 500 cards. You draw two to define a character and two to set the scene. They have some sets with different themes you might check out as well.
- Deviantart.com. I always ask permission (and will talk more about this in a future post). I scan the Daily Deviations and I find that some images stand out, not just for their quality, but in that they inspire a story idea right away. I make a few notes and save it until I receive permission. So this is a good activity to sit and do as a batch, then wait for permissions before fleshing out the stories. I have sometimes gone ahead and written the story, holding it from the blog until I receive permission. I have a couple I never heard back from, so I tend to wait instead.
- One of my frequent favorites is http://awesomewritingprompts.tumblr.com/
- Another early favorite: http://writingprompts.tumblr.com (which is so huge, you might want to start here http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/32343377489/the-180-prompts-i-actually-use)
Of course, most of my prompts are science fiction or fantasy:
Some more general/broad-based prompts and tips can be found at these sites:
- http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?rs=ac&len=2&q=writing+prompts&term_meta=writing|autocomplete|1&term_meta=prompts|autocomplete|1 (Now, with Pinterest, it’s harder to find the original sources, so depending on how you intend to use art, especially, you have to decide how to handle that…)