I personally do not believe in writer’s block. If I hit a snag when writing, I know it’s usually my fear of messing something up. So to burst through the issue, I open a new document in my word processor.
The new blank page is my place to play, to mess up, if need be, and to “talk things out” with myself. I just begin to write. Often, before I hit the half-page mark, I’ve solved my issue and can move on. My favorite new tool for mucking about on a blank page? 750words.com (For more insight on how to break through writer’s block, check out Cec Murphey’s series of posts on the subject.)
But faced with a blank page, kids, sometimes need a nudge in the right direction. Here’s a collection of some great sources for writing prompts:
- The Story Kitchen – Kids pick a hero, a place and a villain. They have a chance to think about how they’d put all that together before the story kitchen cooks up an opening. They have to finish the story.
- The Story Starter, Jr. – Generates a random beginning. It can get pretty preposterous. Here’s the beginning I was given to work with: The detective was writing a poem in the park. This is the “junior” version. The version for adults gave me this as a starter: The amazed hiker dialed the cell phone in the gas station for the mystery writer. Hmmm….
- Scholastic Story Starter – Just plain fun.
- Thirty writing prompts for elementary students at SuperTeacherWorksheets.com
- CanTeach has an abundant source of writing prompts at their site as well. Hats off to this great Canadian site. (What can I say?)
- Not enough? How about a writing prompt for every day of the year.
And just so the kids don’t get to have all the fun, here’s a couple of sites with great writing prompts for adults:
- Creative Writing Prompts
- Bonnie Neubauer’s Story Spinner – Generates a setting, a starting phrase and four words that must be incorporated in the story. The challenge is to finish in 10 minutes.