Monday, November 24, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Day 24

I don't like word prompts; never have. Don't tell me what to do, sentence.

As you're the kind of astute reader, you know I occasionally include word prompt articles in my Of Note series. It's because I've seen and met a lot of people who've benefited from using them. Some of these word prompts have turned out to be pivotal scenes in their novels. This causes me to relent on the importance of someone else dictating what goes into a story.

I believe we're all wonderfully imaginative people who can tackle any problem. I've never used a word prompt, ever. It gives me the funny feeling that someone else wants to influence my work. Maybe I'm paranoid and over-protective. That can be true. Perhaps I enjoy suffering alone.

Writing isn't supposed to be easy. There shouldn't be an easily accessible answer to every problem. My fear of word prompts is eventually a writer will come across that challenge, and the first instinct won't be to face it head on, but to look for the right prompt to answer it. That's not how it works, and I think this month is teaching us that lesson.

Also, never let someone sell you on a workshop because they'll have word prompts ready. Go to the store and buy Writer's Digest or something. A lot of them will advertise a year's worth of prompts on the front cover, and look, you've maximized your savings and have a ton of content to work with.

Use them. Love them. Caress them. Just try and not rely on them for your needs.