Monday, February 03, 2020

11 Fresh Writing Prompts for Non-Fiction Writers


Any writer will tell you that the best way to improve your craft is to practice, practice, practice.  This can be a task in it's self, but don't be discouraged.  When the tank is dry start thinking about using some of these useful writing prompts.

Fact-Based Information

As a writer you're constantly being reminded to write what you know.  Start by going back to past events in your life to help stimulate your imagination.

High Points in Your Life

  • Write a detailed description of the best moment of your life.
  • What were you doing and where were you at the time?
  • Was the moment a surprise or was it expected?
  • What were your feelings about it at the time? Why was it so noteworthy?
  • What in particular was it that made it so special?
  • Has it left a mark on your life?

Low Points in Your Life

Recount the lowest points in your life.  Use the prompts above along with the following below:

What made the event so bad?
Were you aware of negative emotions from this particular point in your life?
Did you learn anything from the experience? Were you able to move on with your life?
How do you view it with hindsight?

Meeting Someone Who Played a Pivotal Part in Your Life

Someone who made a significant impact on your life, but not necessarily a spouse or significant other.  This could be a teacher, mentor, or stranger that taught you a life lesson that has always stayed with you.

Give a detailed account of the mood at that time, and where you were.  Write about what time of day it was, and physical sensations you remember.  Write down your mood (if you can still remember it).

Write about how you felt meeting and seeing the person for the first time.  Describe what happened?  What made this particular event in your life stand-out?  What was your first impression? Did your impression change during the meeting?

Describe how you observed the person in detail.  How did they look, sound and smell? What did they say to you?

Clarify why this person played such a key part in your life, and the impact it made on your life since that day.

Did you leave a mark on that person's life?

Pass On Important Sensory Information

Sensory information covers numerous types of writing.

Write About Your Favourite Smell or Sound

How does it smell or sound?
Why is this particular sound or smell your favourite?
What do you associate it with in your life?
Does it evoke any kind of emotion?

A Piece of Artwork

Describe a favourite piece of art, painting or sculpture:
  • Give a detailed description of the colours and images.
  • Write about the artist and their particular style.
  • Does it bring about any emotion for you? Does it have meaning for you?
  • Do you like or dislike it? If so why?
  • Is it art worthy?
The Sunrise or Start of the Day

Chronicle the start of the day:
  • What do you see as the sun starts to rise?
  • Do you hear anything?
  • Can you smell anything?
  • What are your feelings?
Informative Prompts

You can also use writing to relay authentic factual information.

Recount a Historical Event

Describe an event or era in history that you find interesting:
  • When did it happen?
  • What was the event?
  • Who took part in the event?
  • What was the result?
  • Did it have any historical significance?
  • Why is it so important to you?
Create a How-To

Write about something you're good at, so that other people can learn:
  • What are you teaching people about?
  • Why do people want to learn about this? What kind of knowledge will they gain?
  • What kind of materials will they need?
  • How will they learn? Will it be through simple steps?
  • What will the end result be?
  • Provide useful tips.
Write a Travelogue

Describe past holidays or places you've visited:
  • What was your destination?
  • Give a description of the place.
  • What were your favourite things about the place.
  • What didn't you like about the place?
  • Would you visit again? Any particular reason why you wouldn't venture back?
  • Give advice for people travelling there.
Write About What Your Passionate About

Describe what your most passionate about:

Explore Your Favourite Hobby
  • What do you enjoy doing, and why do you do it?
  • How often do you do it?
  • How does it make you feel?
  • Why will other people love it as much as you?
Write About Your Passion for Writing
  • Why do you love to write? Where did it all start?
  • What's your writing frequency and process?
  • How does writing make you feel?
  • Offer an inside-view of why you love writing?

Start Now

Use these prompts as a spring board, and start sharpening your writing skills today.
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