All of the writing prompts below were created by the More Known website and can be used for your personal use, as teaching aids, or can be amended to fit any other needs that come up.
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You worked late at the office. Henry dropped a pile of papers on your desk while you were on a conference call and left no clue as to his deadline expectations. When you finally left the office, your head was caught up in scheduling for the next few weeks and you barely noticed when your former neighbor boarded the bus.
He took off his headphones, those oversized black-cushioned kind that you saw him wear around the building, he smiled and said hello. You had a brief conversation about his new place, how he was able to negotiate a month-to-month lease instead of something annual, and then he mentioned going back to stay close to his parents.
You recognized the town he mentioned. You’re from that town. You tell him so. He grins and raises an eyebrow. He asks what part of town you grew up in. He went to the other high school in your district. What year did you graduate? He was two years earlier. Did you know anyone on the varsity hockey team? He played at your school during his junior year.
How did you both miss this coincidence while you were across-the-hall neighbors for so long?
We miss connections all the time. Write about someone you see on your daily commute, someone you see through the window of a car every day. Create a backstory that aligns with your own past. Get detailed. Brush shoulders.
This world is smaller than it looks.
There’s a lot of advice out there for writers. These “tried-and-true” bits of wisdom have floated around for long enough. People spew them out at every opportunity. We are tired of it. There are too many experts out there. There are too many rules lists going around. We’re here to dispel some of these myths before they catch on.
You need to write if you want to be a writer.
Bullcrap. There’s just too much to do instead of writing. They say writers write, that the only qualification for calling yourself a writer is sitting down at your desk and producing something. They’re wrong. You don’t need to write. You don’t need to produce anything. Call yourself whatever you want. Doctor Who isn’t really a doctor, right?
You need to revise if you want your writing to be any good.
Malarky. Look at every great writer in history. None of them ever spent time revising any of their work. They scribbled down a first draft, read it over a few times, and published it in a major journal. You can do the same. Forget the editing process. It’s never done nothin for no one.
You need to finish what you’re working on.
Bogus. A great concept is enough. When you draft up a great outline, put it aside before you ruin it. There’s nothing worse than finishing a project and releasing it to the public. Why ruin an ideal concept? Earnest Hemingway, Jane Austin, Jack Kerouac, and Dan Brown all have the same thing in common: none of them ever finished a single book.
You need to read if you want to write.
Horse-droppings. Stephen King said: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have time to write.” What he meant to say was: “Meh, why read anything? What do I know? Watch more television.” Forget about reading in the medium where you plan to write. It’s always best to jump into things without knowing anything about them. That’s why the best composers are those who have never listened to an instrument and the best surgeons have never studied anatomy.
If you follow this flawless advice, you’ll be the best possible writer.