A journal can be an invaluable creative writing tool, but only if there is something written on the pages. Here are some prompts to help develop entries.
A creative writing journal is like a diary, where a writer records random thoughts, ideas and observations. While a diary centers completely around personal events, a creative writing journal usually expands into broader territory and may include descriptive passages, story ideas and character sketches.
Why Keep a Creative Writing Journal?
Many writers keep a journal just for the pleasure of writing every day or for personal satisfaction. A journal may also be kept before an aspiring author begins a first short story, novel or other creative work as a way of developing writing skills.
Keeping a journal helps authors get in the habit of writing on a regular basis. Any kind of writing, such as journaling, helps develop good writing habits and skills which may prove to be useful later on.
What Goes in a Creative Writing Journal?
Many aspiring writers would like to start or keep a journal, but are lost as soon as they encounter those blank sheets of paper. Sometimes it is hard to just start writing with no idea in mind. That is why prompts are often necessary to help get the creative juices flowing.
Writing prompts can cure writer’s block and serve as skill-builders by giving a the writer confidence. After a little practice, the writer will no longer need prompts to fill in the pages of a journal.
Twelve Creative Writing Journal Prompts
Below are a dozen prompts to jump-start a creative writing journal entry.
- Describe in detail the season. What do you observe? What makes it different from any other time of year?
- Write down an emotion–then write about the last time you felt that emotion.
- Choose a general trait such as honesty, loyalty, and write about a person who possess that trait and the choices they would make in a fictional situation such as a hurricane or other natural disaster.
- Turn on the television and describe in detail the first three characters you see, whether they are in a sit-com or newscasters.
- Imagine and describe your dream home. What is the style? The setting?
- .Find a picture of an interesting person in a magazine and, based on their expression, write a paragraph imagining what that person is thinking or feeling.
- Choose a color. What emotion does it make you feel? Write a paragraph about that emotion.
- If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it? Would it make you happier?
- Describe the perfect pet–a cat, dog, or other animal. Describe its antics in detail.
- Imagine winning a trip to a tropical paradise. Describe it. If given the option would you stay there forever or come home? Explain your choice.
- Write about a hero or person you admire. What qualities do they have?
- Think about a person you don’t admire very much. Contrast their qualities to the person you admire. #11 and 12 are good exercises for developing hero and villain.
Now that you are warmed up you should be ready to fill up those blank pages with thoughts,ideas and impressions of your own.