I finished a novel Tuesday night (yes, during Hurricane Sandy, in the dark, by candlelight)!
I’m in a funny place because I don’t have anything else I’m working on. Usually, I’ve got two or three projects working at one time, but for once, I don’t.
I have a bunch of story ideas, but they’re big projects, and I want to write a few short stories right now.
What do I do when I just want the juices to flow and I haven’t given it any major thought?
I choose three random words and see what falls out of my brain.
Here’s Your Prompt
Find three random words, write them at the top of your page, and recite them over and over in your head for a few moments. Once an idea forms, free-write for 10 or fifteen minutes. Don’t worry about plot, structure or character. If you’re a poet, don’t worry about choosing the right words: just let the ideas flow. If you journal, don’t worry about the details, just the broad strokes.
You can worry about editing, plotting and details when you sit down to edit. This is just about finding some ideas.
Can’t find three random words?
- Take the first word printed on three even-numbered pages of a magazine or newspaper.
- Got some junk mail? Choose the first, last and middle words of a sales flyer.
- Use a tried and true method: randomly open a dictionary and drop a finger down on three separate pages.
Still can’t come up with words?
Here are some lists of three:
- shoes, pink, television
- church, merit, knife
- pub, baboon, strip
- squeaky, holly, brush
- orange, wink, mountain
- mustang, flirt, buy
- cardboard, fresh, Phoenix
- impulse, daily, bear
- key, object, room
- worry, open, ate
Want an online generator? Try this random word generator at Creativity Games.Net. It will generate up to eight random words.