Creative Writing with Newspapers

I love creative writing prompts. For the last ten years or so, I have been trying to hone my writing skills in preparation for “becoming a writer.” I already write plenty of nonfiction, but I’m very intersted in writing Christian fiction someday, as well. I love reading books about writing, but the only way a person can really improve their craft is by just doing it. The usual way that I have practiced is through creative writing prompts. They’re great fun, they really get your mind rolling, and they just may spark an idea that will grow into something bigger. Today’s prompt is mainly for writers who already have a story simmering in the back of their mind, or maybe they are in the middle of a work in progress (WIP). I hope you enjoy it; here it is!

News happens to everybody. Sometimes expected, sometimes not, sometimes ironic, sometimes tragic. Pick up today’s newspaper and read the headlines. Think of a way to make one of them affect the protagonist of your WIP. It might just open up new possibilities for a faltering story.

10 responses to “Creative Writing with Newspapers

  1. Brilliant Amy! I really enjoyed this. I love writing prompts also. They get me thinking outside of the box and my comfort zone in terms of genre. Great post, great video!

  2. I love the idea of using the newspaper for writing prompts. I also clip articles and throw them in a file folder, or if it’s an online newspaper, I save them in an idea folder. It’s a great source for short stories and novel beginnings.

    • What a great tip! I need to be more organized with my ideas. I have a folder, but the only things I keep in it are my own little notes and scraps of paper. I’ve never thought about clipping inspirational ideas and saving them for further perusal.

  3. Thanks for that! Writing prompts do get the cogs turning. You don’t need to worry about “becoming” a writer… you write, therefore you are. I think that’s how it goes, lol. A former writing instructor once said, the difference between a writer and other is that the writer writes while others are still just thinking about it. Thanks for swinging by my pages. Oh, and before I forget, you may like First Fifty Words prompts, there is a link on my page. Virginia posts a prompt a week and they always kickstart me when nothing else will. 🙂

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I can always use an extra dose of that…
      I really enjoyed visiting First Fifty Words; thanks for telling me about it! It’s neat that everyone leaves their first fifty words as comment on the blog. Great idea!

  4. Love this!!! My husband and son will be writing the first draft of 50,000 word novel in November and I just might need to pull this idea out.


    • Awesome! I’ve been thinking about the NaNoWriMo myself, but I’m just not ready this year. I’ve just been plugging slowly along at 500 words per day, and I think that’s all I can handle right now. Wish them good luck for me!

  5. Writing prompts make for great short-story starters. I find they’re particular useful with writing contests. A mere word-count guideline leaves too wide an idea window for my mind to settle on anything; a required plot point or first/ending line helps me target where I want to go with far greater ease.

    “I love reading books about writing, but the only way a person can really improve their craft is by just doing it.” — very true. Study has value, but practice makes perfect…or at least brings you closer to it. (:

    • I’ve never entered a contest. Sounds like fun though! I don’t believe I have ever actually completed a short story, either. I usually stick to writing prompts that require 500 words or so. I find prompts easier when they challenge me to think outside the box. That way, I have to be really creative to come up with something to write in the first place, so I usually enjoy dreaming up weird things in response. I love combining dissimilar elements in a story. My favorite writing prompt to date is Description Mix n Match. (You can find it on my resources page.)

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