First 50 Words

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Back to the procrastination station!  I just handed my manuscript over to my editor on Friday and am awaiting edits.  In the meantime I have some time to peruse all the websites I try to avoid when I need to spend every spare second of my day on my WIP.  One such website is another WordPress blog called First 50 Words.

This is a blog focused on writing prompts.  Just a phrase or one word and you write the first 50 words that come to mind.  I tried the prompt “Captain” and of course still had trouble keeping it to 50 words, so here is my first 117:


The crew muddled about the deck.  None of them knew where we were headed and none of them knew that I didn’t know where we were headed either.  I took my hands from the ship’s wheel for a moment.  The shine of the wood had worn down over the past few weeks, leaving marks where my fingers had been.  I grasped the wheel again, feeling the warmth of the wood, the only thing that was warm anymore.  The salty sea spray blew across the bow dousing me once again, but I wouldn’t give up the helm.  No, they would have to pry my fingers from the ship’s wheel, and none of them dared cross the Iron Pirate.

Doesn’t everyone have a pirate story in them?  Actually this was really fun because my current WIP has a female Captain of an airship.

Writing prompts are always a good way to knock loose some of the cobwebs.  I also love the book 14,000 things to be happy about, which is full of fun stuff like “blond guys” and “using a pumice stone.”  Another book which gives you more detailed prompts and also tips on writing craft is The Daily Writer.

Do you use prompts to help you with your writing?

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