This week: Using Prompts for Dramatic Fiction Edited by: Joy
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Hello, I am Joy , this week's drama editor. This issue is about using multiple prompts for creating fiction.
Thank you for reading our newsletters and for supplying the editors with feedback and encouragement.
Welcome to the Drama newsletter
In our blog group, "Blog City Group" , we use prompts for our everyday entries. We do this because prompts can help us break free from creative blocks, explore new themes, and generate unique ideas. Yet, prompts may be of more help to dramatic writing than coming up with simple blog pieces.
It is true that some fictional stories on our site and elsewhere may also be written from a prompt. If so, then, how about mixing two, three, or more random prompts for creating a good story?
Our first step could be choosing those prompts.
Thanks to the internet, we have a treasury of prompt generators online. So, we may wish to start by using those online word generators or random word apps that generate a list of words or phrases if only to give us an idea or two. These can be nouns, adjectives, verbs, or complete sentences. The key to their use is randomness.
Then, there are also visual prompts such as images, photos or even illustrations. We may be able to find inspiration through something visual by flipping through magazines, stock photo websites, or random image generators. Also, let’s not forget songs, arias, operas, and music. They, too, can serve as excellent prompts.
Writing a story from a mixture of prompts is like solving a fun puzzle when we mix and match different prompts to create intriguing combinations. It is also exciting to experiment with various combinations until we find what sparks our interest and resonates with us emotionally. The pick is ours.
For example, let’s look at a couple of random words a prompt generator offered: “Abandoned” and “Eccentric.” This could be an old, decrepit mansion or a person who’s abandoned by his friends due to his eccentricity.
For good fiction and especially drama, we’ll first need characters and character traits, once we have a few ideas about the type of a story we want to write. In fact, character traits themselves may become prompts all on their own as they could be positive or negative, and they do shape a character’s behavior and relationships as well.
The way I see it, since characterization is the most important element in a dramatic story, we can start by using the character prompts for creating well-rounded and relatable characters. These prompts provide a starting point, a set of questions, or a scenario to help us better understand our character's motivations, personality, and background. Especially when we choose relevant character prompts, we can explore character backgrounds, motivations, and conflicts. Then, we can think about how the character traits we have chosen might lead to internal or external conflicts within the story.
For the story world, visual prompts work the best as we can readily imagine our story’s setting or settings in vivid detail. As such, the atmosphere of the story can also be influenced by the chosen prompts. For instance, an image of a stormy sea might set a tense and foreboding mood.
After that we can develop a plot that revolves around the chosen plots and create conflicts and obstacles to challenge the characters and build up the story.
A pointer for through all this is to be open to unexpected twists and turns in our fiction. Sometimes, the most captivating stories emerge from the unexpected connections among the prompts. Also, during the creative process, let’s not be afraid to deviate from our initial ideas if a more compelling direction arise. We can thus encourage ourselves to challenge our creativity, explore new storytelling avenues, and break out of creative ruts.
So, whenever we want to write a story but we are stuck for inspiration, let’s give those random prompts a try and watch our dramatic fiction come to life.
Until next time!
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This Issue's Tip: To write a strong conflict, it is a good idea to come up with issues that connect to you, the writer, emotionally. Then you can steer them in a direction that offers the best possible conflict in your plot or characters.
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