I like words. No, I love words (I might’ve mentioned that I’m a logophile. Or you might’ve assumed it, you know, with the whole writing thing.). That’s why it makes perfect sense to me to use words (or a word) as inspiration for a story. Because really, why not?
Ok. Here’s the idea. Pick a word. It could be a word you like. It could be a word you hate. It could be a word that makes you queasy (you’d be surprised). Then, start building a story around that word.
Here are a few ideas for how to get started:
- Make the word the theme of the story. “Loathing,” for example, could easily be a theme for a book (and probably has been).
- Have the main character epitomize the word. And make it more interesting than “heroic.” Words like “quixotic” or “inept” automatically require more depth.
- Set in a fantasy word, applying adjectives to the setting could make for fairly creative worldbuilding. I’m picturing fauna based off the word “corrupt” or “sparkly.” Or better yet, both. Now, that’s an interesting world.
You get the idea. And if you want to complicated it, you could pick multiple words and do all of these and any others that you think of.
Do you have to stick with the word-thing the whole way through? That’s totally up to you. The main goal of this writing prompt is more finding inspiration for the art of the unexpected than it is about the challenge of the follow-through (although you could make that part of it if you want).
Anyway, that’s my idea of how to use a word as a writing prompt. Got any you’d like to add?