Writing Prompts for Creative Non-Fiction
August 19, 2017 12:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to flex my writing muscles a little more often. Specifically, writing in the creative non-fiction / memoir / personal experience category. What are your favorite writing prompts?

Prompts can be traditional/direct (questions, such as "What's the strangest thing that ever happened to you on a vacation?") or less traditional/direct (responding to an image; going out and doing something new and specific, first, before writing about it).
posted by nightrecordings to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Try these (no I'm not trying to make you fall in love with me but if someone does try it on you at least you'll be ready).

Sample questions:
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
17. What is your most treasured memory?
posted by benadryl at 2:11 PM on August 19, 2017 [2 favorites]

I've enjoyed going down this list of daily prompts compiled by Wordpress a few years back. Many of them encourage introspection, sharing personal experiences, or doing a thing and writing about it.
posted by Carouselle at 4:17 PM on August 19, 2017

- Write about a time when, as a child, you had a conflict with an adult
- Write about an experience with literacy
- Who was the last person you truly hated (someone you knew and interacted with often)?
- Write about a time when you thought something mattered but now you know it doesn't.
- Pick an object in the room and write about your history with it.
- Write about a time when you resembled (one of?) your parents.
- Find a headline and make it about you.
- Write about a time you got too drunk (or high).
- When were you caught (or not caught)?
- Pick a place you spent time in and write about it.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:12 PM on August 19, 2017

This probably falls closer to the fiction category, but what would your alternative universe selves do?
posted by divabat at 12:48 AM on August 21, 2017

Lynda Barry has a great flexible writing prompt exercise thing that she uses in her classes. I came across it in her great book, What It Is.

Here's one version of it, Seven and a Half Minutes Worth of Writing.

There are some similar instructions in this Lynda Barry workshop handout, which also includes instructions for a 4-5 minute diary entry.
posted by kristi at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

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