Home‎ > ‎Quick Writes‎ > ‎

Prompt, Prune, Publish


How do writers keep the flow?  Like sports, they practice.

Below you will find prompts, including links to sites for information.

Choose to practice.

Prompt:  Prompt yourself with one of the choices and read, discuss, write.
Prune: Prune the ideas, adding and deleting as you revise to make your ideas clear.
Publish: Publish by editing and rewriting your text on your blog or to hang it in the hallway.

Share the link to your work in this form.

For each prompt:

  1. Gather ideas -- prewrite, list, web, freewrite, read, ask
  2. Garner the key points -- use your prewrite and discussion to write your text


  1. Grab the best of your writing ideas by revising: add more detail, description, evidence, information, figurative language, strong verbs, claims, questions,
  2. Gut what is unnecessary by crossing out / deleting.


  1. Gum up your paper/doc with editing marks: correct your capitals, punctuation, spelling, paragraphing.
  2. Grab a friend and let them gum up your paper/doc.
  3. Glitz up the world by publishing to your blog or posting in the hallway



posted Jan 20, 2014, 7:24 PM by sheri@nsdeagles.org

Writers write about what they know.

The best writing is realistic fiction, or fiction that is believable because the characters you create behave in ways we can believe -- even if they are magical, they have "character" and "personality" and "values" we identify with.

So, think of things that have happened in your life -- an incident. Humor is always fun to use. Perhaps you tripped and the birthday cake plopped on the floor. You know, stuff that is funny NOW, but may not have been THEN.

Use that incident to write a short story. Use dialogue. Bring them on and let them scream  -- like our sign says. SHOW your story by making it happen again, step by step. 

Don't tell:  I tripped on my brother's shoe and the cake fell.

Show !   I proudly looked at my masterpiece: Perfect pink letters spelling "Happy Birthday, Auntie" on dark chocolate frosting. The candle flickered a second, but held its flame. I carefully picked up the tray and turned to enter the living room where everyone had just surprised her. I stepped slowly, making sure the cake did not slide. One step. Two --

I didn't see it, holding the cake up in front of me. I felt it, too late. My baby brother's new boot. I tried to kick it aside, but as I did, my left hand lowered slightly.

Just slightly.

Just enough for the cake to start sliding.

I pulled up my left hand and finished my step, pulling my right foot forward onto the other shoe! I stumbled, and the cake dropped, plopped onto the tiled floor with a splat that silenced every person waiting for me.

All eyes ....

See the difference?   Always SHOW, don't tell.

Add in some magic if you want, but the real story is just as good -- people will feel the humor along with you.

And, finally, prune and publish.


posted Jan 20, 2014, 7:07 PM by sheri@nsdeagles.org

What's a favorite story you've read?

What did you like about it?

What did you like about the main character?

Consider one of these options:

  • What would you have done if you were the main character?
  • How would you have written the ending?
  • What would happen in the sequel?
  • Think of a new part of the story -- what incident would you add to help explain the character and his/her actions?

Now write the new part of your story.

Then prune and publish!


posted Jan 20, 2014, 7:03 PM by sheri@nsdeagles.org

What's got your goat?
What's important to you?
How should people _______________ [ treat each other, teach, learn, coach, form groups, etc. --- it's endless ]

Choose one idea on which you have an opinion.

Explain the idea -- the facts.
Explain how other people think.
Explain your opinion -- and why.

Now: prune and publish.


posted Jan 20, 2014, 6:58 PM by sheri@nsdeagles.org

What are you good at?

Horse-back riding?
Slam dunks?

Choose something you are good at and make a list of
  • HOW to do that and
  • WHY you are good at it.
Write any interesting incidents, technical details, or humorous anecdotes that fit your idea.

[ remember -- since it is your idea, I can't be exact in what to write -- you must figure out the details  that fit. ]

Now, prune and publish.

1-4 of 4