Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Stimulate Your Imagination With Online Prompts

Where do your ideas come from? If you are like many writers they come from all over. My ideas come from reading, music, playing with the grand kids and so on. Sometimes I use online prompts as a stimulus. I listed a few below. – this site is very interesting. Illustrators visit this site each Friday to get a key word and then they produce a piece of art and link it to the Illustration Friday site. This is a way for them to showcase their art and expand their portfolio. If illustrators can do this why can’t writers? This week the word is Repair. Click here to view a list of art from a variety of artists and mediums. Who knows, you may get some wild ideas from a number of illustrations. There are many illustrations in the category of children's art as well. sends out a word of the day. October 28 word of the day is execrable which means detestable, abominable. If you don't like this word, look on the previous word of the day list. You can also subscribe for free to receive the word of the day.

For while agents and editors often misunderstand their market and sometimes reject good or even great works, they do prevent a vast quantity of truly execrable writing from being published.
-- Laura Miller, is a great page and I love browsing around here. The trouble is I could end up spending hours perusing. Here are a couple of quotes on writing.

All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.
Bobby Knight

The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.
John Irving

Can you see how quotes can stimulate your creativity?

I fell in love with It is a free online rhyming dictionary. Look up a word and then let your brain bounce around with all types of possibilities. For instance I typed in moustache and selected end rhymes. Thirty words popped up. Example: moustache/slapdash, moustache/panache, moustache/mishmash. If you like words and what writer doesn’t, you can see how much fun this site can be. There are six types of rhymes and a section on phonics and alternative pronunciations. This site is especially exciting for me since I am working on a picture book that needs to have a cadence to it.

Prompts are good for collecting ideas but it may take some patience and time. Stretch your imagination. Start with one workable goal per prompt. The more you actively brainstorm ideas, the better chance that one of them will grab you.

Try playing the “what if” game. What if boy meets girl becomes boy meets dead girl. Or girl meets cyber-boy. It doesn’t matter how you choose to practice generating ideas, just keep on practicing. The more you practice the more open you will become to possibilities that are all around you.

Write it down,


  1. Great informative post. I know what you mean when you find a site you like you can definitely spend a lot of time there. Do you really have hardly look old enough.

    Donna McDine

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  3. Hey Donna, what a compliment! I have 8 grandkids. I started very young. :) I guess I better update my picture since I am a highlighted blond now. :)