I’m sure we’ve all read many great ideas by other writers who occasionally become stumped by writer’s block. We can take a break, work on another project, go for walk or do a myriad of other things to stimulate our creative juices, but my favorite thing to do is to use writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
I’ve written a few posts over the years about overcoming writer’s block and shared one of the books I use for writing prompt exercises, Natalie Goldberg’s – Old Friend From Far Away, where I used her prompts to create my ‘I am‘ series. But recently, I was reading a blog post over at Lana Broussard’s blog and I got this idea from her post there called the ‘Chatty Blitz’ to open up the creative channels.
I’m renaming my word prompt idea ‘Trainstorming’. The word is comprised of a brainstorming of words and thoughts followed like a train by the next sentence. What to do:
- Start by choosing the first random sentence that comes to mind
- Continue the next sentence (thought) beginning with the last word from the previous sentence
- Keep on writing more sentences in same manner until you feel you’re done
- Don’t think too hard what you’re going to write, just write the first thing that pops in your head
- Now take a look at what you’ve written and you may just find a story to write about
After you’ve created your own trainstorm, you’ve exercised your mind and given yourself more words and/or ideas to prompt your writing and created a process that has the potential for a new story idea.
Here’s my example, done in 30 seconds: (On the airplane where I wrote this)
I will miss you beautiful Arizona.
Arizona desert heat and cacti flourish.
Flourish all of you beautiful flowers of spring.
Spring forward, don’t stay stagnant.
Stagnant thoughts don’t allow growth.
Growth is measured by . . .
I challenge any of you to continue on by using my last sentence above to begin your trainstorm and please feel free to share what you come up with below in comments or by leaving a link to your post.
Thank you to John Maberry for using this exercise for the intro to his short story – Derek’s Dominos