By: Bryan Cohen and Jeremiah Jones
Genre: Writing, How-To
Publication date: 11.2.2013
Date read: 12.28.2013
Recommended by: Read 2 Review
Summary: Creative writing prompts are short questions or situations that are meant to inspire you to write. Far beyond the typical, “It was a dark and stormy night…” story starters, this new collection of 1,000 prompts has been specifically formulated to dig deep into the creative process. The prompts employ thought-provoking questions, imaginative scenarios and humor to help writers of all ages defeat writer’s block. Author Bryan Cohen’s previous books of writing prompts have sold more than 20,000 copies and include multiple Amazon best-sellers. Through his books and his website Build Creative Writing Ideas, Cohen has helped countless writers, teachers and students to blast through the blank page and the blinking cursor to create blogs, scripts, stories and more! It’s time to stop thinking and start writing. Get this book on your physical or digital shelf today.
Several years ago, while working with school-age children in an after-school program, I was given the task of coming up with new activities for the summer program - this was after weeks of looking at all the things that had been done before by other teachers which, in my opinion, treated the kids like they were a lot younger (and not as intelligent) as they really were - and were also things that were just not cool enough for me to do (haha). I remembered the fun that I had with an after-school program when I was younger and decided to take some of those ideas and use them with my class. One of them was writing - something I have always loved to do. I purchased each child a spiral notebook so they could keep a summer journal and started researching subjects for them to write on. Some of them were really good (I have a list that I still utilize today). Others were absolutely horrible. Throughout the years since I have been able to get other children into writing and each time I use the internet to research more "journal prompt" ideas. If any of you have done this, then you know just how trying a task this is - so many people just cut and paste what the website before them have suggested, some of them really put no thought into what they've written, etc.
I'm sure you're wondering what the point of my story is.
This is a book full of journal prompts. A thousand of them to be exact.
It starts off with a very well-written and inspiring introduction, one which you shouldn't miss - which leads into the lists, separated into topics and sub-topics, of open-ended questions. Some are familiar to things I've seen, but not quite. Others are ones I wouldn't have thought of and haven't seen before. Some ask you to write a short story, some are just questions to answer - but all make you think.
I wish I had this book all those years ago - I could have let them look at an even longer list to see what they chose and what they wrote. In fact, I caught myself highlighting several things and since finishing the book I've found myself drifting off into my own little world and answering those questions. Some of them just weren't for me, but others really made me think. And what I liked is that these things can be used for a variety of things, not just ideas for a novel. Some of them would work really well for a blog post or even private writings in your journal.
Favorite line: "Creativity is a wonderful human ability and it should never be suppressed!"