Last year I began an Instagram account dedicated to writing prompts. I’ve always enjoyed reading and doing them, so I decided to give it a try. A little over six months later, and I am still going strong! I thought that it might be fun to go over my process for creating them.
First, I pick an emotional wound or setting that interests me. Then, I write everything that goes along with it. Let’s take the setting of a wedding. What do you see? Hear? Smell? What actions happen?
Sights: Stained glass windows, lectern, wooden pews, flowers, men tugging at uncomfortable collars, uncomfortable shoes, bible verses projected, family being seated, programs passed out.
Sounds: Children squirming, hushed piano music, clearing throats, coughs, sniffles, microphone checks, camera
Smells: Coffee, perfume, cologne, mints.
Actions: runaway bride, judgment from family members, having trouble forgiving and moving on, family drama, an ex showing up uninvited, or a fight breaking out between bride and groom.
After I get a few ideas running through my head, I will begin writing scenarios related to the sighs, sounds, smells, and actions I have previously written.
Here are a few prompts I came up with from the above:
–With one final reflective glance, she was gone forever.
–Pinched toes were not the only affliction she hid the day.
–Her focus was on the door that stood between denial and admittance.
When I choose an emotional wound, I think of the lies resulting from those wounds, fears they may have, and how one would respond. Let’s look at an unexpected pregnancy.
Lies: They’ll never be able to accomplish their dreams, the baby is the source of all their problems, love is temporary.
Fears: abandonment, fear, judgment, always being alone.
Responses: looking for a replacement, doubting mothering skills, wallowing in self-pity.
– I did something I can never take back.
–For if they knew the truth, they would want nothing to do with a soul as damaged and broken as hers.⠀
–The one thing she is good at is running away from her problems.
That’s it! It does take some time, but I find it enjoyable to create different scenarios, and it helps in my writing to come up with ideas and plot twists. Sometimes I’ll even use portions of my writing that I won’t be using any longer. Regardless of how awful I think a prompt is, I write it down. You never know when or how you’ll use them in the future.
My mother introduced me to this fantastic note-taking app called Roam Research. I’ve been using it for a while and have to say, it’s precisely what I have been looking for! I’ve tried Evernote, OneNote, and various other note-taking apps, but this one works the best for me.
I have two graphs, one for my daily life called Amber and the other called Series Bible. When you log in, the first page you see is called daily notes. It’s where you can do a brain dump about the day. Each of my children has a page within Roam, and so when I click their name, I get a breakdown of what they did or something funny they said on a day to day basis.
Making pages in Roam is so easy, all you have to do is type [[ ]] and whatever word(s) is between the brackets will become a new page. You can also use the # to create new pages, but they have to be one word. The blue words (pages) you can click on and see the other places you mentioned that specific word, phrase, name, etc.
If you ever get stuck or forget a key command, click the handy little question mark in the bottom right corner, and a box will pop up, providing you with the most useful key commands. Also, if you want a page to show up under the shortcuts click the star in the upper right corner.
So, now, how to use it to outline.
I set-up a page with the working title of my novel, and then linked the various pages that go along with it. When I click the setting, it will lead me to a page with the two cities my novel takes place in. There I can make mental notes of the weather or other fun, interesting facts that may be useful. The plot leads to my elevator pitch, the outline to my three-act structure.
When I click on the Opening image, it leads me to a page that describes what this act should entail. I use the space above to pinpoint specific things that have to take place and people we have to meet.
My character page contains, my characters. When you click on a name it takes you to a page showing all about that specific character.
Here it even breaks it down by each act where her name is mentioned and what she’s doing. For some reason, this way of taking notes works the best with my brain. I love that everything is in order, labeled, and I can easily find what I need. It’s a bit pricey at $15 a month, but you get a 31-day trial to see if you like it before buying it.
You can find a bunch of videos about Roam on YouTube that will give you a more in-depth look at the things you can do within this app. I haven’t even scratched the surface 🙂 If you end up trying it, let me know what you think!
Roam Research does not have an affiliate program, just love the app 😉
Interested in writing prompts? Check out my blog So Novalike!
This year’s theme has been redemption, mostly because that’s what the story I am working on is about. The daily reminder that I am never too far gone for God’s grace is a sobering thought. By no means does this mean sin all you want and ask for forgiveness, then you’re golden. If you’re truly in Christ, you will desire to love and obey His commands.
𝘕𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘎𝘰𝘥’𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱 𝘰𝘯 𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘣𝘰𝘳𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥.
1 𝙅𝙤𝙝𝙣 3:9
My main character runs away from her problems, feeling as if she’s too broken and damaged to be loved by anyone, especially Christ. We’ve all felt that way, at least I know I have. Things seem to be spiraling out of control, and we turn to everything but the one thing we need, Christ.
𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳 𝘐 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘮𝘦. 𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘐 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘩 𝘐 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘺 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥, 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦. 𝘎𝘢𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴 2:20
Christ’s blood delivers and redeems us. When we feel too far gone, we should come back to the truths of God’s word. We are new creations, who we were in the past is no longer who we are today.
𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦, 𝘪𝘧 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘊𝘩𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘵, 𝘩𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘖𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘱𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺; 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬, 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦. 2 𝘊𝘰𝘳. 5:17
I need your help dear readers, what are some of your favorite stories in the Bible about redemption?
Anyone else needed this motivation today? I sure did.
Ink-stained fingers inscribed words on a page, some remain in my mind persistently expanding until they age.
Perfection is the killer of creativity. When we aim for perfection, we fail to take risks and try to meet other’s standards instead of trying to achieve our own.
Perfection shouldn’t be our intention; instead, let’s concentrate on progress and making strides in our own time, no one else’s. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be scared to try, you learn the most from your shortcomings.
So instead of coming up with a word for the new year, I have set a purpose or plan that I aim to accomplish. My intention this year is to be more intentional. I want to deliberately spend more time with the Lord, my husband, children, family and friends, and less on social media. I want to live in the moment and be with them taking the time to have deep, meaningful conversations, one on one time getting to know them better, and have more experiences than things.
Have you come up with a word or intention for the new year? I’d love to hear it, drop a comment below!