Long ago, I used to attempt prompts, but I haven’t done them in years. I’m really too busy with my own stuff and I can never get them to feel right for my blog. That and I schedule months in advance, so the prompt is already long gone. In other words, I can’t think of any advice beyond having fun with it.
On the other hand, I have seen how prompts can go wrong. These would be the ones that are so restrictive that people can only make one story. Everyone who participates are funneled into a narrow path, which can be frustrating. You want to make prompts your own and the requires freedom. I see this in school a lot too. Imagine being given a setting and a list of 12 objects that you have to include, but they’re all very specific. It causes some issues for two types:
- Novice authors will get frustrated trying to fit everything together, so they won’t really benefit from the experience. They won’t be flexing their imagination because the list and setting are too rigid. For some, this can cause some lasting damage and make it more difficult for them to write in the future.
- Creative authors who love to go wild will thrash against the leash. It won’t be an appealing exercise because they can’t see any way to be unique. They may turn off entirely until something more interesting is presented. Yet, their standards have risen and they might not want any restrictions this time, so a freer prompt will find itself rejected.
Again, I know very little about this. I do know many who are prompt experts, so I open the floor to them. In fact, I’m going to make a post on Sunday to showcase the responses with credit being given. So, how do you tackle prompts?