3 writing prompts that use books around your house

Sitting down with a notebook or a laptop and immediately feeling inspired to write is a huge expectation we put on ourselves, and not one that is easily achieved. I’ve found that focusing on my physical environment can kickstart the flow of ideas.

Do you have a book lying around? How about a whole library? Here are three ways to use the literature existing around you to write your own.

1. Last Line

Flip to the final page in your book. What is the last sentence?

If your book happens to be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by J.K. Rowling, your last sentence would be: “All was well.”

Now, your role is to use that final sentence and write a story starting with that very line. Here’s a brief example:

All was well. The town of Ludlow drifted to sleep; another expected day come to a close, a new predictable day on the other side of sunrise. The cogs of a machine slowly rolling along smoothly, until Ingrid Baxter arrived.

Use that final line as a way to begin your story, which can be unrelated to the book you found inspiration from.

2. Found poem

Using a book, flip through the pages and randomly select a list of words that stand out to you.

This is my short list, coming from the book, The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath:

  • manuscripts
  • lunch
  • swore
  • twilight
  • sick
  • Greenwood
  • letter
  • Yale
  • pillow
  • gulps
  • lugged

Write a poem, inserting the words from your list. You don’t have to rely on the list alone for words, simply use them for inspiration.

3. Ending Swap

Find a book that you read recently or you remember well. How did it end?

It’s in your power to now change the ending. Does an unforeseen tragedy affect the characters? Is there a resolution you would’ve preferred to read other than the author’s version?

Rewrite the last page, or even the last chapter, to settle on a new conclusion for this story.

Do you have more book-related writing prompts that inspire you? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy writing!

Love, Emma

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