Are you inspired or tired?

I currently don’t host any ‘Prompts’. I used to, though. In fact, if memory serves, l was hosting prompts in January and February of this year. Then l stopped, or rather l reduced the sheer volume of question oriented posts l offered. However, they are not actually writing prompts. I provided creative writing prompts way back in 2018/19 but stopped as they became too time-consuming in both invention and keeping up with responses leaving me with little time to do anything else of value.

These days l only have the 24 Hour Blog Question, which isn’t prompt for creative writing but purely for individual responses

I have always loved asking questions. I am always fascinated with things, places, locations, and people, especially their behaviours – the whos, whys, whats, and when of their lives. Why do you do this, that and the other? Deeply fascinated with the other, think of that as you will. But there is always plenty of other abound if you look.

Next year l am introducing a ‘Flash Fiction Creative Writing’ prompt. It will not be a weekly prompt, only once a month. Also, I shall run it in collaboration with another blogger or two. The ins and outs and the other still need to be ironed out.

Whilst Flash Fiction can include many genres within to write about, this particular prompt will only be looking for those intrigued with mystery and murder, intrigue and suspense as well as what goes bump in the night styled horror.

I like flash fiction stories, outstanding ones. I say this because l was discussing with friends the quality of creative writing prompts and those that respond and how prompts have changed since l started blogging.

The true beauty of flash fiction creative writing, for example, is that it is a complete mini-story packed with meaning and identity and character and action and intensity! It’s the ultimate in storytelling as far as l am concerned. I am a great storyteller – BUT not in creative fiction – no.

My speciality lies in realistic and true-life storytelling. I am NOT a bad creative writer, but l am not great; l am not disciplined enough. Too lengthy, for starters! The devil is in the detail is my motto, and the real secret to flash fiction might also be found in another name known as – micro-fiction! So l stick with things that l am good at, and micro-short story-sudden-fiction isn’t one of my many talents, and l am okay about that.

Which is why l love reading good quality flash fiction! Not everyone knows how to write great micro-fiction, and l think it’s because they might not fully understand the requirements. Most often than not, flash fiction is no longer ‘usually’ than 1000 words. That would be considered the maximum of words because most prompters set the limit between 250-350 tops! That is quite the challenge by itself which is why l think many writers struggle to produce great flash fiction.

The ultimate aim of flash fiction is to convey a complete story from start to finish – an entire plot! This means it has a beginning, middle and an end and typically has something quirky present like a giant surprise or an unusual ‘wasn’t expecting that twist! I know there are the 3 and 6 words styled flash fiction prompts, and they, when done beautifully, are the stories of pure genius! Next years prompt’ll not be 3 or 6 words.

Anyway, more on this new prompt soon.

In this discussion l was having with friends about ‘creative writing prompts’ late last month, many questions were being bandied about … one of which was “Do you ever get bored of reading prompt responses on blogs?”

But then the conversation opened up further to include things like, ‘Are bloggers creating too many prompts these days or too many of the same styled prompts?’ Has the quality of prompt creation gone downhill, or is the genre coming across as stagnant? Are writers tiring of prompts or just poor quality writing prompts? What makes for a good prompt? Is creative writing prompting a new form of social media communication through writing instead of conversing on other topics, therefore pure escapism? Do writers hate prompts or just the style of the offered prompt? Are there too many just the same prompt types and a lack of originality or new themes being trialled? Which prompts are still received well? Are creative prompts a good use of a writer’s time?

It was an interesting discussion for sure. But l suppose it all comes down to this …

“What do you like about creative writing prompts, and do you feel that they inspire you or tire you?

A Prompt Pandemic Post

24 Hour Blog Question Directory

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32 thoughts on “Are you inspired or tired?

  1. I host a weekly image Prompt , What do you see. I try to pick images which can invoke varied responses. And I also try for variety in the images I use. As for other prompts, most of them inspire me to write, use my imagination and create something worth reading. I’m no fiction writer, I’ll admit. My stories are quite ordinary, unless I’m inspired in writing something funny. The images are usually easy to write to while words or phrases take longer as I look to introduce a meaningful angle to my writing.

      1. Yes, I do. But perhaps it’s not only liking but dependence on them. I have often thought of stop writing to prompts but then…….

        1. Maybe what is needed is a hiatus of sorts or a change to the prompts you write or even to the prompt you create? I do seasons and series for the reason that if l want to stop doing something, l have a period in my mind that allows me to say ‘Okay season/Series 1’ as the example will only run for x or y or z weeks and it will be daily or weekly or fortnightly and then it will only have 8 – 10, 15 or whichever episodes to the series. Then once done you can take a break and do something different or just rest the series for a while 🙂

  2. I haven’t written to a prompt for some time. I did enjoy the challenge but it had to be right kind. I didn’t find much good in the 6 word ones, the 99 words ones were tough to do but worthwhile, and 1000+ words not challenging enough. I approached it with the idea that it made me a more economic writer, and it forces you to reread and edit your own work, over and over, ridding it of the superfluous detail and purple prose. Probably 250 – 350 words is a good challenge.

    But I couldn’t set prompts, having to read all the submissions! Okay if you’re after extra blog traffic, I suppose. 😆

  3. I was initially inspired by the WordPress daily word prompt. I never did it daily, but sometimes I wrote a poem using the word. I found other poets that way too, in the comment links. It was great when Fandango took over the prompt after WP bailed on it. Now there are tons of prompts and no way do I have time to address them all! Most days I pass on most of them; occasionally they come together in my mind for a multi-prompt post. I do think writing quality suffers when we feel compelled to write any old thing just to post with a prompt…

    1. I have to respectfully disagree. It’s the writer that sets the quality of the post, however it is inspired in my opinion. One can write drek with a prompt, and some folks have mentioned (recently) that they get bored because usually the prompts are same old/same old week or month or day after day. The images or words might differ, but the challenge loses its shine if it’s not refreshed now and then. Plus the host can run out of inspiration too. If a blogger views the prompt as a starting point, not the be all and end all (unless it’s specified that way of course), they can create fantastic writing fiction from anything. I mostly do prompt writing just now, not a lot of original stuff, except that each story I write using someone’s idea to start off, is original. I put the thought and work into trying to make it interesting for the reader too. But I’ve been guilty of the ‘slap dash’ approach sometimes too. We all get tired now and again, which is perhaps a sign we need to look at what needs changing or renewal to make it fresh.

      1. There is a lot of truth there, Melanie, and as always, my thanks for commenting.

        One of my biggest problems with many prompts today is they are simply not changing, they have become tired, and instead of seeing new trends and themes introduced, we only see a rehash of old styles, making them ‘boring’ and unexciting.

        I stopped creating and participating in prompts in 2018/19 for two main reasons – time-consuming, and l felt a lack of originality in the prompts offered out to the readerships.- to participate with. Two years later, l feel we are still seeing the same thing, except so many more of them combined with a complete lack of uniquity and invention.

        As l view some blogs now, l see more of a concentration from bloggers, not writers, but bloggers to create fodder for increased traffic statistics and traffic flow itself.

        I feel that many bloggers who create prompts and have perhaps been running and maintaining existing prompts for several seasons and series need to maybe look at some of their prompts and ask if they are becoming tired and in need of a refit, or a restyle or perhaps an invention of something new.

        You do l agree, Melanie put a lot of work in creating balance, but you know all too well that many sadly do not.

  4. PS: it’s really hard to be brief, which is why “this would have been shorter but I ran out of time” is so hilariously true. Good flash fiction is tough to write!

  5. 🙂 Well, Rory, you might as well stick to realistic and true-life storytelling.

    Why?

    Because it is not going to feel cumbersome if you are good at it.

  6. I host a weekly image and word prompt! I enjoy reading how others interpret the prompt. I also like to respond to prompts from others, especially syllabic poetry prompts I can take or leave flash fiction. I am more into poetry, photography and posts where I can increase my knowledge.

    With that said, there are many bloggers that are excellent at flash fiction, a few of which I follow. I can’t manage reading any posts that are long and wordy.

    There are many prompts in blogland and I don’t feel there can be too many as long as there is variety. I try not to let the prompt control how I write. It’s a balance between capturing the prompt and maintaining one’s style of writing.

    1. Hey Eugenia,

      i think there is a big difference in prompts when it comes to photography or imagery and poetry in comparison to that of fiction prompts.

      There is as big a difference to that as there is between blogger and writer prompts or poet and photographer prompts.

      When there is variety and change and diversity in prompt then you have spice – sadly l feel that there is an awful amount of stagnation in prompts these days.

      1. I agree, Rory, on all counts. I see stagnation in those that post unmanned prompts, which reminds me I need to change the wording on my own prompt posts! Thanks, Rory! 🙂

  7. Are you looking for a co-host? If so, I’d be proud to ‘help’. I’m sure you have a lot of folks interested though, so no pressure! 🙂

    What do you like about creative writing prompts, and do you feel that they inspire you or tire you?

    I like the creative writing prompts because, especially in the colder months, my muse goes on vacation or holidays, and I’m often strapped for good ideas. So I have the prompt to fill the gap until that hussy (my muse) comes back again. I love doing them all year though. They inspire me.

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