I’ve recently shared a number of the prompt exercises I’ve completed for an online class I’m taking. What I like about them is they’ve forced me to write. That’s the most important thing is I’m writing. The second thing I like about them is each has required me to focus on a different aspect of writing or gave me a specific limitation I had to work around. Many prompts only give you a starting point which is fine but are only meant to get you started, they aren’t meant to develop a specific skill or attribute. These prompts attacked a specific skill and I think I’m a better writer because of them.
Some of the prompts simply got you started. Those were the easy ones because there wasn’t much you could do wrong unless your story sucked. The better prompts required you to write a story with multiple characters and only utilize three conversation tags (i.e. he said, she said) in a story of at least 500 words. This encouraged me to use action and other details to identify the speaker. I had to include dialogue without overusing tags and killing the scene.
A few of the prompts required you to lots of detail. I needed to set the scene, describe the characters, their traits and idiosyncrasies, and manage to have at least the beginning of a plot in there. It required me to really focus on my use of details to bring an idea to life. Adding tons of detail is easy. Adding tons of relevant and necessary detail that advances the story is a bit tougher but eventually, it all came together.
The classes are still ongoing but they focus on plot, character development, setting and description, and the development of your style. They’re great classes in my opinion and once I complete them and pass, I’ll provide a link to them but it you look up the classes in Google, I’m sure you’ll find them easily enough.