Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts

I’m reposting an old favorite today:

For this writing prompt, I’ve combined two common exercises—to use an image or a random line from a book as a prompt:

Open any book and let your finger fall on a sentence. Then open a magazine and note the first picture you see. Combine the two and write a scene, a character description, some dialogue, a poem, a freewrite, a memory or whatever else arises.

If you like, post your creations in the Go Wild! section of the Readers’ Sandbox or below in the comments. (I love it when people share!)

Here’s mine (from a sentence in The Lovely Bones and a photo in National Geographic):

Ruth would get an image and it would burn into her memory. She didn’t forget things like Jasper, who struggled to recall anything beyond the basic facts of his life 30 years ago. If he sat quietly for a while, he could conjure up vague reminiscences. But almost as soon as they arrived, the impressions floated slowly away from his mind, like glaciers drifting off the edge of a faraway alien country.

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2 Responses to “Fun Writing Exercise: Mix Up Your Prompts”


  1. 1 davecenker May 2, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    This is a brilliant idea, a great way of stimulating the mental senses into action, connecting the dots between two seemingly disparate scenarios until they meld into one that is uniquely your own. Thanks for sharing 😉

    • 2 stranglingmymuse May 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      I’m happy you like my exercise, Dave! Thanks for letting me know — it’s nice to hear. And, yes, I always find that connecting two disparate things can lead to amazing creative discoveries.

      Thanks for stopping by here, and best of luck with all your creative endeavors!

      ~Sandy


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Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach and Writer.

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