If you want to get your creative juices flowing, look no further! These creative writing prompts will help you write outside the box and unleash your inner creativity. Each prompt is one word, so they are perfect for a quick burst of inspiration. Don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild – go with the flow and see where your writing takes you. Happy writing!
99 One-Word Writing Prompts
How One Word Can Inspire an Entire Novel
Writers are often advised to “write what you know.” But sometimes, it can be just as effective to write what you don’t know—or at least, what you don’t know yet. Starting with a single word can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing and develop an idea for a novel you would never have thought of.
Take the word “red,” for example. What comes to mind when you think of that color? Passion? Anger? Love? Danger? All of the above? Now imagine a character who is defined by the color red. What is their story? Why are they so passionate/angry/in love/dangerous? What kind of trouble do they get into because of it? And how do they eventually learn to control (or embrace) their emotions?
Or what about the word “bird”? A bird can represent freedom, grace, or simply the natural world. But it can also symbolize something more sinister, like a vulture picking at the carcass of a dead animal. A character obsessed with birds could be facing any challenges in their life—perhaps they’re dealing with anxiety or depression or recovering from a traumatic event.
Or maybe they’ve been dealt bad news and are struggling to find hope amid despair. No matter what their story is, starting with the word “bird” gives you a solid foundation on which to build a novel that is both unique and thematically rich.
Making Your Creative Writing More Resonant
To make your creative writing more resonant, you must focus on creating an emotional connection with your readers. The best way to do this is by creating characters your readers can relate to and care about. When your readers feel invested in your characters, they will be more invested in the story.
Creating relatable characters
The first step to making your creative writing more resonant is creating characters your readers can relate to and care about. Readers need to be able to see themselves in your characters to feel emotionally connected to them. One way to create relatable characters is to write about people dealing with similar issues as your reader base. For example, if you are writing for teenage girls, you could write about a character dealing with body image issues or peer pressure. Another way to create relatable characters is by making them flawed and human. No one is perfect, and readers will be able to relate to characters who make mistakes and have flaws.
Writing clearly and concisely
It is also important that your writing is clear and concise to resonate. You want your readers to follow along easily without getting lost in convoluted sentences or confusing dialogue. One way to achieve this is by avoiding overly flowery language or jargon. Another way to ensure that your writing is clear is proofreading carefully before publishing anything. Typos or grammatical errors can make your writing difficult to understand and will take away from the overall quality of your work.
Creating a strong plot
In addition to clearly creating relatable characters and writing, you also need to focus on creating a strong plot if you want your creative writing to resonate. A good plot will keep your readers engaged from beginning to end and leave them wanting more when they reach the end of the story. One way to create a strong plot is by introducing conflict early on in the story and continuing to raise the stakes throughout the tale. Another way to create an engaging plot is by surprising your readers with unexpected twists and turns. It would be best if you also tried to avoid predictable endings whenever possible, as they can make your story feel less rewarding for the reader.
The Snowflake Method
The snowflake method is a tool – devised by Randy Ingermanson – that can help you when you’re feeling stuck. It’s a way of planning your story by starting with a small idea and then gradually adding more and more details. The goal is to eventually have a “fully-formed” story, complete with characters, setting, and plot. Sound too good to be true? Read on to find out how it works.
How the Snowflake Method Works
The beauty of the snowflake method is that it can be used for any story, whether it’s a novel, short story, screenplay, or even a non-fiction book. Here’s a quick rundown of how it works:
- Start with a one-sentence summary of your story. This is the “kernel” of your story—the bare-bones essence of what it’s about. For example: “When her parents are killed in a car accident, teenage orphan Alice is sent to live with her estranged grandparents in a small town in Maine.”
- Expand that kernel into a one-paragraph summary. This is where you start adding more details about your characters, setting, and plot. For example: “Alice is hesitant to move to Maine, but she soon discovers that her grandparents’ house is a portal to another world. This new world is full of strange creatures and even stranger people, and Alice finds herself caught up in an adventure to save it from destruction.”
- Create a detailed outline of your story. Once you have a paragraph summary, you can start fleshing out your story by creating an outline. This is where you’ll decide on your plot points, character arcs, and so forth. Depending on the length and complexity of your story, your outline could be anywhere from one page to several pages long.
- Write your first draft. With your outline in hand (or saved on your computer), you’re ready to start writing your first draft. Remember that this stage aims to get your ideas down on paper (or screen). Don’t worry about making things perfect—you can fix things up later in the editing phase.
- Revise and edit your story. Once you’ve written the first draft, it’s time to go through and revise/edit it until it’s as good as it can be. This process will vary depending on how long and complex your story is, but it generally includes steps like rewriting scenes/dialogue, cutting unnecessary material, etc.