Tag Archives: Writing Prompts

Writing Prompts and Tips for Kids

When I was a kid, I remember having to write in a journal for English class. Although I loved writing, writing in a journal about myself was boring. I hated it. However, I LOVED to write stories and poetry.

If you’re trying to inspire young people to write, give them something interesting to write about. Here are 20 writing prompts to get kids going along with a few additional resources to find more writing prompts for kids.

20 Writing Prompts for Kids

  1. Write a story about a goat who has a picnic in the rain.
  2. Write a story about a crab who likes to write adventure stories.
  3. Write a story about a deer who must cross a rickety bridge.
  4. Write a story about a reindeer who makes an important discovery.
  5. Write a story about a butterfly who has a pet ant.
  6. Write a story about a clean toad who lives in a flower.
  7. Write a poem about a squirrel who drives a wagon.
  8. Write a story about a hawk whose family lives in a painting.
  9. Write a story about a wizard who is lost in a forest.
  10. Write a story about a champion who becomes a star in the sky.
  11. Write a story about an elegant enchantress who lives alone in a tower.
  12. Write a story about a bat who couldn’t fly.
  13. Write a poem about a cottage in the woods.
  14. Write a story about an obnoxious minstrel whose bravery is tested.
  15. Write a story about a monster who has a favorite food.
  16. Write a story about a crow who whistles while he fixes robots.
  17. Write a story about a two headed monster who plays soccer.
  18. Write a poem about someone from the past.
  19. Write a story about an explorer who turns invisible.
  20. Write a story about a kid who discovers a secret city.

Writing Prompts for Kids Resources

Scholastic Story Starters

This is a great resource for generating prompts for kids. You can choose the grade level and type of story and then spin the wheel to get a random prompt. It could be used for teenagers or adults who like to write too!

Super Teacher Worksheets

This site has some writing prompts on it that you can access for free. There are also some additional tools for teachers here. You can pay to be a member also. (I do not get anything for you becoming a member of this website.)

Journal Buddies

This site has a list of 75 writing prompts. Some are for journaling, but I think they can be used as a story starter too. Check it out and see what you think.

Writing Supplies

It’s also a great idea to provide kids with fun supplies to write with. Even as an adult, I love having a cute notebook and some colored pens to write with. Here are some links to some great products on Amazon.com that could making writing a little more fun for kids. (I get a commission from Amazon if you buy something from one of these links.)

Cute Journals

A cute journal goes a long way. It is fun to write in a journal that has a cute cover or even cute pages inside. It is way more fun than plain pages to write on!

Journals for Boys

Boys might not want a ‘cute’ journal, but it’s still more fun to write on something besides plain paper, so, this link has some journals that boys might like.

Colored Pens

The other super fun thing for writing is colored pens! I love writing in different colors depending on the part of the story or my mood. (I especially love Flair felt tip pens.)

In Summary

I hope these tips and hints are helpful and get your young people writing. My love affair with the written word began when I was very young. Even now, when I’m upset, I like to go to office supply stores and buy a little something. I find it comforting and inspiring. There’s nothing like a blank notebook and a cool pen to get my creative juices flowing. I could fill the pages with anything! Happy Writing!

Guided Writing Prompt Exercise: Random Word Generator

For this exercise, you’re going to need something to write on, something to write with, and a timer. If you have a random word generator you’d like to use that’s fine. Otherwise, you can use my random word for your exercise. I’ll discuss the tools you need in detail below.

Random Word Generators

When I am doing a Random word exercise, I usually use just one word. I have several different random word generators I use depending on what I want to do. There is also a list of resources that include some random word generators on the Resources page of ReadingAndWritingTips.com. Also, I will list six random words below. If you have a six sided die, you can roll it to get a random word to use from this list:

1. Helmet
2. Tumor
3. Cone
4. Position
5. Jockey
6. Compromise

Writing Materials

Sometimes I use my iPad to write with, sometimes I use my laptop, and other times I use paper and pen. It just depends what kind of mood I’m in and what I have available when the muse strikes me. Just use whatever is best for you.

Timer

You will need a timer to use for the writing exercise. I use a timer on my phone, but you can use a kitchen timer or any other timer you have. If you don’t have anything to use as a timer, you can do the Guided Writing Prompt Exercise along with me in the YouTube video and I’ll time 2 minutes of writing for you.

Instructions

So, what we’re going to do is select a random word using the list above and a die, a random word generator tool, or you can use the word I am going to use which I will give to you in a moment. You can do the exercise almost any way. What I do, is I try to picture something in relation to the word to begin the story or piece I’m writing. For example, if the word is basket, I could think about someone carrying a basket somewhere, someone making a basket, someone buying a basket, a basket factory, or anything else that the word makes me think of. The word should give you an idea, paint a scene, or maybe introduce a character to you that you can use in your piece.

So, for our exercise, I used a random word generator and got this word:

Clothespin

You can use the same word I’m using, or you can use your own generator to get a word of your own if you like. Now that you have a prompt, set your timer for a period of time you want to write for. I usually do writing exercises for 15 minutes at a time. If you do the Guided Writing Prompt YouTube video, you’ll write for 2 minutes. You can also pause the video and write for as long as you want and then skip to the end of the video. Whatever your choice, set your timer and get ready to write.

(If you have a writing program like Write or Die, you can use the software to write in as well as time yourself.)

I wrote for two minutes filming the accompanying YouTube video and I’ll post my results at the bottom of this post. When your timer goes off, come back here and post your work! If you don’t want the general public to read your piece, email it to me. I’d love to read it! Ready? Go!

Happy Writing!

###

Here’s what I wrote from this prompt in 2 minutes:

Molly picked up the last baby shirt and attached it to the line with a wooden clothespin. The sun was at her back and it felt good on her bare shoulders. It had been such a long and cold winter and she was happy to see the sun again. She knew Marvin would not like seeing her in her tank top outside where the neighbors could see her bruises, but he wasn’t there to scold her. She smiled at her guilty secret and sighed as a cool breeze kissed her shoulders. Hearing the loud exhaust of a truck pulling into the driveway, Molly grabbed her laundry basket and ran for the back door. She rushed to grab her sweater [time ended!].

Links:
Random Word Generator
An easy random word generator you can use for free online.

Regular White Dice
Just what the title says. 🙂 For use with the random word lists I will post here when I do random word exercises.

Guided Writing Prompt Exercise: Physical Story Dice

Hi Everyone! I have another fun guided writing exercise prompt for you today!

For this exercise, you’re going to need something to write on, something to write with, and a timer. I’ll discuss each in detail below. If you don’t have your own story dice, you can use the same prompt I’m going to use. I’ll give it to you in just a minute.

The Dice

I have a set of nine story dice. I usually use three at a time when I do a writing exercise. Just because 9 is too many. However, I could easily see writing a children’s book and each of the nine dice is a chapter. Or writing a poem and using each die in a stanza. The possibilities are truly endless! I love story dice! 🙂

Writing Materials

Sometimes I use my iPad to write with, sometimes I use my laptop, and other times I use paper and pen. It just depends what kind of mood I’m in and what I have available when the muse strikes me. Just use whatever is best for you.

Timer

You will need a timer to use for the writing exercise. I use a timer on my phone, but you can use a kitchen timer or any other timer you have. If you don’t have anything to use as a timer, you can do the Guided Writing Prompt Exercise along with me in the YouTube video and I’ll time 2 minutes of writing for you.

Instructions

So, what we’re going to do is select three dice at random and roll them. The dice will show three pictures. You can do the exercise almost any way. What I do, is I try to use the word that I think represents the picture in the story or piece I’m writing. For example, if the die shows me a flower, I could use flower, garden, rose, petal, or anything that the picture of the flower makes me think of. The pictures should give you an idea, paint a scene, or maybe introduce a character to you that you can use in your piece.

So, for our exercise, I rolled three dice and this is what I got:

The letter ‘L’
A scarab beetle
A bridge with water under it

You can use the same pictures I’m using, or you can use your own story dice and get pictures of your own if you like. Now that you have a prompt, set your timer for a period of time you want to write for. I usually do writing exercises for 15 minutes at a time. If you do the Guided Writing Prompt YouTube video, you’ll write for 2 minutes. You can also pause the video and write for as long as you want and then skip to the end of the video. Whatever your choice, set your timer and get ready to write.

(If you have a writing program like Write or Die, you can use the software to write in as well as time yourself.)

I wrote for two minutes filming the accompanying YouTube video and I’ll post my results in the comments for this post. When your timer goes off, come back here and post your work! If you don’t want the general public to read your piece, email it to me. I’d love to read it! Ready? Go!

Happy Writing!

###

Here’s what I wrote from this prompt in 2 minutes:

Margaret could hardly believe her eyes. Here on the bridge of elison, was the emerald beetle she had searched all those long years to find! If she had found this clue when she was still young, she could have been the Queen of Alloria. But it was just not meant to be. The Beetle, carved with minute care into the ancient stone of the bridge was outlined with a star and at the Northern most tip of the star was the letter L. Margaret dropped to her knees, fingering the filigree star and wondering what the L meant. She ran her fingers over the legs of the beetle one by one and a light [time ended!].

Links:
Story Dice
These are the same dice I have. They come in different ‘flavors’.

Magic and Fairy Tale Story Dice
Just what the title says. 🙂

Full article on how to use Story Dice

Guided Writing Prompt Exercise: Open a Book at Random

Hi Everyone! This post is meant to get you writing! So stop whatever it is you’re doing (unless it’s important, like if you’re in the bathroom or something) and get ready to write!

For this exercise, you’re going to need a book, something to write on, something to write with, and a timer. I’ll discuss each in detail below. If you don’t have a book handy to use, you can use the same prompt I’m going to use. I’ll give it to you in just a minute.

The Book

It can be fiction or non-fiction, it doesn’t really matter. However, if your goal is to write fiction, this exercise usually works better if you get a fiction book, if your goal is non-fiction, pick up a non-fiction book, if your goal is poetry, you get the idea.

Writing Materials

Sometimes I use my iPad to write with, sometimes I use my laptop, and other times I use paper and pen. I know, weird. But some people do still use paper and pen when they write. Don’t judge me. Just use whatever is best for you.

Timer

You will need a timer to use for the writing exercise. I use a timer on my phone, but you can use a kitchen timer or any other timer you have. If you don’t have anything to use as a timer, you can do the Guided Writing Prompt Exercise along with me in the YouTube video and I’ll time 2 minutes of writing for you.

Instructions

So, what we’re going to do is just open the book at random and point to a line on the open page. The line we pick will be our writing prompt. You don’t want to use the actual line, word for word, in your writing. That would be plagiarizing. The line should give you an idea, paint a scene, or maybe introduce a character to you that you can use in your piece.

Without further ado, let’s get our line. The book I’m using is called ‘The Mists of Avalon’ by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I randomly open the book and put my finger on a line that reads,

“Gwenhwyfar was weary of the feasting.”

You can use the same line I’m using, or you can use your own book and find your own line to use. Now that you have a prompt, set your timer for a period of time you want to write for. I usually do writing exercises for 15 minutes at a time. If you do the Guided Writing Prompt YouTube video, you’ll write for 2 minutes. You can also pause the video and write for as long as you want and then skip to the end of the video. Whatever your choice, set your timer and get ready to write.

(If you have a writing program like Write or Die, you can use the software to write in as well as time yourself.)

I wrote for two minutes filming the accompanying YouTube video and I’ll post my results in the comments for this post. When your timer goes off, come back here and post your work! If you don’t want the general public to read your piece, email it to me. I’d love to read it! Ready? Go!

Happy Writing!

###

Here’s what I wrote from this prompt in 2 minutes:
Gwenhwyfar sat at the head table, in front of friends and family and people she didn’t have any idea who they were. They were all stuffing their faces, talking and yelling and laughing loudly. Ale flowed and dogs crept under the tables to catch any food that was dropped. Grease and food dripped from gaping mouths and Gwenhwyfar felt her stomach roll as her eyes revolted at the sight of the gorging. Her betrothed, Prince Arwyn, was more mannered than the rest, but he still turned her stomach with the way he chomped and chewed, food sticking out of the corner of his mouth. She thought it disgusting and vulgar, but she was stuck with him.

How to Use Story Dice

story dice

Hey everyone, have you ever wondered what story dice are and what the heck to do with them? Well, I’ve released a new video on my YouTube channel that explains just that. You can also check out a previously published full-length article here on the blog about Story Dice.

Take a look at the video and let me know what you think! If you use story dice, send me your work. If I like it, I’ll publish it here on my website! I look forward to reading your work.

Happy Writing!
~ Eileen

Story Dice YouTube Video

Story Dice Full-Length Article on RAWT.com

How to Use Story Dice as Writing Prompts

I love finding new writing tools. I found an app on for my iPhone that is story dice. You’ve probably heard of Story Dice. They have pictures on them and you roll the dice and try to use the pictures in your story or other writing piece.  The app I have been using is from Thinkamingo and it cost me $1.99 from the App Store. I like it because I can set the app to roll up to 10 dice if I want to.

Story DiceI love the idea of story dice. You can use one picture in each paragraph, use it to think up a title, characteristics, almost anything. They are very versatile. So this week I rolled 3 dice and got a Tree, a Couple, and an Umbrella.

So here’s what I wrote:

We were married beneath the reaching branches of a majestic oak tree but when you were buried I stood alone beneath an umbrella. I’m ashamed to admit that part of me was glad you were gone. Now I had no one to hold me back from my mission, no one to keep safe and no one to care if I was not.

I had loved in your life like I had loved no other and now in death your memory made me soft and so I cast it aside and said goodbye. I didn’t need you where I was going and I certainly didn’t want you there. I closed my umbrella and left it with you.

Walking to the waiting car the rain poured all around me, dropping to the already wet ground. My feet sloshed through the soggy grass, mud coming up and over the side of my loafers. Instead of overflowing, I took it in.

The car door opened as I approached and I bent to get in. In the dry interior I felt like a fish out of water. A handkerchief was handed to me and I took it in silence. I held it feeling the smooth material between my fingers.

 

Happy Reading!

~ Eileen 🙂

NaNoWriMo Progress: 21,600 Words!

Hey everyone!

In case you didn’t know, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year. This is day 7 and I just logged my updated word count at 21,600.

I am ahead of schedule and last weekend’s goal of 5,000 words each day kind of kicked my booty, so this weekend, I’m sticking to my 2,000 words per day goal. Check out my dashboard, yo!

DaySevenStats

I’ve finished my 2,000 words for today, finishing 2,147 as indicated on my dashboard. I also have a word goal that I set per chapter in my Scrivener application and when I reach it, the bar turns green, so I know I’ve hit my mark.

Here’s a shot of a snippet from the end of Chapter 10, heading into Part II of the novel where the meat happens. Underneath, you can see the chapter word count and on the bottom right, you can see my goal bar is green ’cause I’m a good girl and did all my words today. 🙂

ScrivinerBar

Are any of you participating in NaNo this year? How’s it going? If you need some inspiration, check out my Resources Page for writing prompts, ideas and other resources. I’m so proud of myself for sticking to my goals and meeting my daily goals every day so far. I won’t lie, it’s hard work and I’m tired. But it will be SO worth it once November is over and I have the completed first novel in my series (series? Yes, series!) of novels to come. And I’m so proud of YOU for participating and hanging in there. If you’ve fallen behind in your goals, it’s not too late to get caught up. Just dedicate some time to writing this weekend and you’ll be back in the game!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month! I know when I first started getting back into writing, I didn’t know where to begin. I wanted writing prompts and advice, outlets and ideas and among my searches, I kept seeing people talk about ‘NaNoWriMo’ and I had no idea what it was! Through some additional research, I finally figured out what it was and how useful it can be in helping me complete a novel in just one month. Although today is day 2 of NaNoWriMo, I wanted to share it anyway in the hopes of helping someone get a burst of inspiration. You can join at any time, so don’t let anything stop you!NaNo Shield

What can NaNoWriMo do for me?

NaNoWriMo, or NaNo as most people refer to it, has many resources, boards, local groups and other resources to help you along your novel writing journey. Joining NaNo is free and allows you access to all of the NaNo tools and information.

During the month of November, there are daily posts with inspiration from other writers. Some of them are even famous writers. For example, the day 1 pep talk post was from James Patterson. Here’s a blurb to prove my point. This is not the whole Pep Talk post from Mr. Patterson, you’ll have to join NaNo to read the whole thing! 🙂

James Patterson Pep Talk

Your Author Dashboard allows you to track your novel, post information about your book and yourself, track your word count, earn badges and other things that keep you motivated and involved in writing your novel. You can create groups where you post your work, get feedback, and encourage one another to KEEP WRITING!

Here’s my Dashboard:

NaNo Author Dashboard

You may notice there are several tabs across the top of my dashboard, Author Info (showing), My Novels, Writing Buddies, Buddy Of, and Stats. Each of these tabs is available for free to all members. You can add writing buddies so you can send messages to each other, offer encouragement, or complain, whatever you need to say!

If you want to add me as your NaNo writing buddy, just search for ‘eileenmaki’ and you can add me!

Across the top of the screen in the above shot (brown menu bar) you can access the NaNo store where you can purchase goods or make a donation to NaNo. You can also find local NaNo events and join others in your area for a ‘Write In’ event or get together.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to NaNoWriMo.org and get started. Once you have an account, or if you already have one, add me as a Writing Buddy and let’s get those novels written!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Poets and Writers Classifieds

Hey There!

Are you guys all ready for Halloween? It seems like it sneaks up on me every year! On to the Resource! 🙂

While looking for submission calls, I stumbled across an oldie but a goodie. The Classified ads on the Poets and Writers website. They have lots of open calls for various markets and listings for groups, etc. It’s a pretty good place to check out once in a while.

Poets and Writers Classifieds

The Classifies page has some different categories to choose from: Manuscript Calls, Conferences, Contests, Publication, Retreats, Residencies, Resources, Services, and Workshops.

PoetsAndWriters1

Once you make a selection, you can peruse the ads and choose options to pursue. The Contest section is my favorite. It’s got tons of resources to choose from. Check it out and let me know what you think.

The information is updated regularly, so I recommend you book mark it, or visit my Resources Page for the link at any time!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂

Resource Saturdays: Random Word Generators

Hi Everyone!

As you may know by know, I like to use random word generators as inspiration and a general kick-in-the-pants for writing things on the fly. I usually use OneWord, but the other day, OneWord was on the fritz, so I sought ought another random word generator. I’ve posted a few on here before, and you can find them on my Resources page, but these few I just found deserved to be shared as well.

Random Word Generators

Word and Name Generators

This is a really cool generator that will give you random words as well as random names. (By the way, clicking on the screen shots below will take you to that part of the site.)

When you visit the site, on the right side, there is a list of word generators to choose from. It looks like this:

WordGenerator1

The generators are really easy to use. My favorite word generator on this site is the Random Word Generator. It not only gives you a word, but also the definition.

Capture1

This site also has random name generators. Click on Name Generator at the top of the site and you’ll see a list of name generators on the right.

Capture2

As you can see, it’s not just a plain name generator. You can generate all kinds of names here. The part I like is that you can put in a part of the name and have the rest generated if you want. I have a terrible time making up last names for my characters, but I usually know what I want their first name to be.

For example, I’m starting a book where the main character’s name is Jenna. I can’t think of what Jenna’s last name should be. So, I can use the Last Name Generator, enter Jenna as the first name and click Generate.

Capture3

Super useful!

Creative Random Word Generator

This one is more straight forward, with just some random words being generated. However, you can generate multiple random words at once by clicking on the numbers. Sometimes I find it handy to generate 5 words and try to use them all in my story, chapter, poem, or whatever I’m working on. So I can click on the 5 tile and get 5 words.

Capture4

I might use each word at the start of a paragraph, chapter, scene, or other part of my story to give me a kick in the pants to get going!

I hope you like the resources this week, check back next week for more Resource Saturday goodies!

Happy Writing!

~ Eileen 🙂