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NaPoWriMo Prompts (1 Viewer)

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aj47

(he/him)
WF Veterans
Here are some prompts for those who wish to use them. It is not necessary to work from a prompt, but many people find it sometimes helps with the creative process. Note that in the second post, there are picture prompts that can also be used.


  1. Look at da Rules and find a rule or FAQ that you like. Write it as a poem.
  2. Write a 26-line poem where each line begins with a letter of the alphabet, in order.
  3. Write a poem without the letter s.
  4. Go to Wikipedia and click on the Random Page link. Either write about what's on the page or use the title as your title and write something completely different.
  5. What's in your name? What should be?
  6. What does heritage mean to you? Describe yours.
  7. Mix and match two cliches, proverbs, or sayings. Any two will do. A day late (and a dollar short and all dressed up) and nowhere to go for example. Write a poem about it.
  8. Write a poem that uses anaphora.
  9. Write a blessing.
  10. Choose a short form like haiku or tanka and write a series of poems in that form that explore the same topic.
  11. As Easter and Pesach fall in April, maybe a poem on either theme.
  12. Write a poem, for better or worse, about a teacher from school.
  13. Open a dictionary, page through until an unknown word catches your eye. Read the definition and then try writing a poem containing the new word.
  14. Pick up a book near you -- a real book, not an ebook -- and turn to page 179. Go to the sixth paragraph of that page and use the LAST word of that paragraph as the title of your poem. (my thanks to https://www.random.org/ for a random number from 1-250 and from 1-15)
  15. Go to https://www.random.org/colors/hex -- it will give you a random color. Write a poem about it.
  16. What is the quietest place you've ever been?
  17. That one person who... Tell us more.
  18. Read Valentine by Carol Ann Duffy. Let it inspire you. Or read another poem by another poet. The point is to take something away.
  19. Write a phone poem. Pick up your phone or tablet and start with I and use only the words that appear in your suggestion bar. You don't have to use the middle one, or any specific one but you can't cheat and use words that aren't there. Stop when you feel you're done.
  20. Write a "love" poem to/for/about a thing you like or enjoy rather than a person.
  21. Go to the the list of common poetic forms here and try one that is new to you.
  22. Titles cannot be copyrighted. Take the title of a famous poem and write your own completely different poem with the same title.
 
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aj47

(he/him)
WF Veterans
Yes, please! I mentioned it somewhere...the coffeehouse roundtable maybe. The more we get the better prepared we'll be.
 

Ariel

WF Veterans
Choose a short form like haiku or tanka and write a series of poems in that form that explore the same topic.
 
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Phil Istine

Staff member
Global Moderator
As Easter falls in April, maybe a poem on that theme e.g. bunnies, chocolate eggs, crucifixion etc.

Write a poem, for better or worse, about a teacher from school (if you can remember that far back).
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
Contextual vocabulary...;)

Open a dictionary, page through until an unknown word catches your eye. Read the definition and then try writing a poem containing the new word.

I did this last year quite by accident and ended up with some surprisingly decent material. The word I got stuck in my head, oddly enough, was lollop. It means to bounce. I liked the litany of it so I used it.
 

Thaumiel

WF Veterans
Not really a prompt as such, but a pointer towards some if you're running low.

Find a website called stumbleupon. You can enter interests (e.g poetry, writing) and it will pick random web pages about the topic. You could find anything from poems, poetry discussions and list of prompts. See if something inspires you.
 

Pulse

Staff member
Senior Mentor
Theme for 2020

Last year I used this challenge to unfold the story of a clown outside the circus.

I would like to have a theme for this year.

Any ideas?

(n.b. I wasn't planning on being autobiographical; though perhaps I should . . . )
 

Pulse

Staff member
Senior Mentor
Thank you Darren.

I'm glad I've got a few weeks to mull things over - supposing I'm spared the virus, that is (I live in an area with hundreds of Chinese students, who probably pay visits to relatives).
 

Pulse

Staff member
Senior Mentor
Honestly, hysterical people always seem intelligent to me - demonstrating against inauspicious status quos. When it happens on a 'me too' basis it helps to raise awareness; but I don't think I could sustain this for 30 poems.

I may try a five-act rhyming play with six speeches per act. Not too sure of the plot yet - I'd like to have some idea where I'm heading; but suppose it may simply unfold.
 

Pulse

Staff member
Senior Mentor
I may need to devote the first scene to 'stage directions' in a life-story drama that begins with the child as non-verbal; but the more Ithink about this, the more confidence I gain. I dunno; I'll begin on April fools day and start writing. I have a feeling it may not be a proper play on first write, but could be worth a try.
 
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