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GailGaymerMartinGreeting and almost Thanksgiving blessing to you from Gail Gaymer Martin at www.gailmartin@aol.com

Sometimes writers draw a blank. They face a new novel with an empty page, and their creative process has taken a vacation. I am always looking for creative ideas on writing to add to my blog Writing Fiction Right at www.writingright-martin.blogspot.com I want to tell you about two very creative writing prompts that can help to stimulate your creativity and perhaps get you out of the slump that sometimes happens to writers.

The two prompts that I thought were great are Creative Writing Prompts and Story Praxis. Both provide you with an opening setup or a two word phrase that can take your mind on a journey. Both are worth checking out.

An excellent resource is Creative Writing Prompts at http://creativewritingprompts.com/ The page is a list of numbers into the hundreds and when you place the cursor over a number you will get a prompt. Here are three random samples:

1. You come home and check your phone messages. You get your third message and freeze. Begin your story there.

2. Kristine Pederson and Russell Ebert meet before he inherits money. One of them is killed.

3. Create a story based on the metaphor – "A minute of failure."

These all intrigued me and sent my mind on a journey. I hope you find this prompt helpful, too.

The next option I heard about at a writer’s mini-conference earlier this year when Andy Meisenheimer, a freelance editor, talked about his blog, called Story Praxis. The purpose of Story Praxis is to encourage creative thinking and writing for authors to provide them with a two-word prompt to start a story. Praxis is an ancient Greek word that today means: process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted or practiced, embodied and/or realized. This two word prompt stimulates the imagination, allowing the author to go somewhere new and different, to try new techniques such as: first person or present tense or to try a new genre. The prompt asks the author to write for ten minutes without stopping, without analyzing or plotting. Just let the words flow.

I found this stimulating since it took me away from my genre and delving into a story line that would not be one I’d normally select. The phrases change each day, but that day the prompt words were: Two children. This is what I wrote, and remember I had no time to edit, no time to think, and no plot in mind. I just grabbed a pen and legal pad.

My experiment with Story Praxis

Aimee rose from the park bench and sauntered toward the playground. Two children had captured her attention but why? The answer caught in her throat. One child appeared blind, and the other—younger, she guessed—had become a caregiver.

Nearing the swings, Aimee faltered, then stopped and listened to the older child ask about the color blue.

The seeing child looked heavenward. "Blue is the color of the sky.

"But what’s the sky look like?"

Gazing above their heads, Aimee pondered the question. Air. The sky was air and puffs of clouds. Curious, she stepped closer and slide onto a swing—too low for her—but she didn’t care. The children’s voices rang clearer.

"Do you feelthe wind?" The sighted child held up her hand. "That’s the sky."

The older girl reached in front of her holding her hand palm up as if she’d found a treasure. "And this is blue?"

The sighted child nodded. "And water, too. It’s blue."

That’s as far as I wrote in the five or ten minute prompt time, but I found the exercise intriguing. If you’d like to experiment with the Story Praxis technique, visit Andy’s blog at: http://www.storypraxis.com/tag/prompt. Read the two word phrase he provides and follow his guidelines. I think you’ll see the value of the task and surprised at how it stimulates creativity. It also offers you the opportunity to publish your prompt online and a possibility to be published in the Story Praxis Magazine.

Andy freelances and also edits for The Editorial Department, founded by Renni Browne, coauthor of Self-Editing for the Fiction Writer, http://www.editorialdepartment.com/ that offers full service consultations, critiques and edits to writers.

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