5,000 WRITING PROMPTS: A Master List of Plot Ideas, Creative Exercises, and More by Bryn Donovan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Disclaimer: I did not read all 5,000 prompts.
But I did read most of them, actually, not just to get the inspiration, but to get an overall feel for how Donovan puts together her lists. Quite often you can see her riffing on a theme or flipping a prompt to generate another (“Write why you like scrambled eggs. Or why you hate scrambled eggs with the fire of a thousand suns.”)
There are a few things Donovan does that elevates this above so many other writing prompt books or websites:
- Quantity. Yes, sometimes size does matter! The sheer volume of prompts means you’re bound to find some that appeal to you, even if you use her method of randomly picking one.
- Speaking of randomly picking one, Donovan directly tackles the purpose of the prompts and suggest picking one to write every day for two weeks, to rekindle your interest in writing if it’s faded. This is an entirely sensible plan, but a lot of prompt books don’t address this at all, they just pile on the lists.
- Speaking of lists, Donovan provides a great deal of variety and even the groupings that might seem marginal to you (for me it would be the poetry prompts) actually offer a lot of good ideas that can be applied to other types of writing.
Donovan offers commentary and background on some of her ideas, especially those that have cultural or historical significance.
Really, this is just a solid all-around collection. I expect to use a bunch of these prompts as I seek to re-ignite my own fiction writing (and if you don’t write fiction, there’s lots of material here for blogs and other forms of non-fiction writing). Recommended.
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