I have an app on my phone called “A+ Writing Prompts” which I love and I wasn’t sure how well known it was among writers so I thought I’d write about it today. The app has numerous features but I’m going to focus on the different writing exercises it offers.
The first option is called “Sketches” it offers a genre suggestion, types of writing and objects to include. For example, I got “foreign” as a genre, “55 word story” as a type of writing, and “a pretzel, an amulet, and a test tube” as objects to write about. I’m not sure how “foreign” can be a genre but I’m assuming it means to write about a foreign country, foreign land, something unknown, etc. The following passage is what I came up with.
I have been confined to this strange cell for days now. I know I am near death and the only thing I have left is a charm bracelet my mom had given me. On it is a pretzel, an amulet and a test tube. I had hoped to see her again but know that’s impossible.
The second option is called “Scenes” and it offers a place, a character, an object, and a mood or a time/date or weather. For example, today I got “the other side of a mirror” as a place, a “marine biologist” as a character, “cheese and crackers” as an object, and “cold” as weather.
The wealthy marine biologist could hear the burglars ransacking his house right on the other side of the mirror. He is hidden in his safe room with plenty of cheese and crackers so he knew he wouldn’t go hungry. He did wish he had remembered to put a heater in there because it was coming down to deciding between staying safe and freezing to death or taking his chances with the intruders in his house.
The third option within the app is called “Texts” and gives ideas to expand on such as “A gift is left on the back porch.”
Mary was disappointed. She had had a wonderful birthday with her favorite cake and a few presents but she hadn’t gotten what she really wanted. A few weeks earlier she had seen a pink scooter at the store that she had fallen in love with. She had left hints around the house about it since then and was hoping her parents would understand. Mary knew her parents didn’t have enough money to buy the scooter but she had been hoping for a miracle.
“Honey?” her mom said from the other room. “I think there’s one more present for you on the back porch.”
Mary’s head snapped up and she jumped up and ran to the back door and opened it. She got her miracle and it was wrapped with a giant purple bow.
The fourth option is called “Words” and like its name suggests it offers several words to include in a piece of writing. Today I got “parsimonious,” “spectacular,” “wing,” “chain,” and “same.”
The parsimonious woman was loathe to spend her money on something so spectacular. She was on vacation and had gone to a local craft fair and spotted this wing pendant on a silver chain and had fallen in love with it. Every feather was highlighted with different colored beads and the intricacy of the piece took her breath away. She pulled out her money and paid for it. Feeling satisfied she made her way further down the fair where she saw the same pendant in several other stalls for much less than she had paid. Angry at being taken, she ripped the necklace off and threw it in the trash.
The fifth option is called “Headline.” This one is very interesting because it offers real headlines from current news. You can write about them before you look at the article or just read the article. Today, the one I got was “Lagos Art Lovers Get Chance to Bid for Long-lost Masterpiece Found in London.”
They had travelled over 3,000 miles from the Northwest coast of Africa to the bustling city of London for a chance to bid on it. The two art historians had studied to piece in books for years and never thought it would be seen again. It had been lost to time for over 500 years. The painting had reached an almost legendary status in the art world. Then six months ago during restoration of a cathedral in Wales, a worker had knocked out a wall and found a hidden room. Among the treasures in the room was the painting. Now, it was up for auction and they had come to see it.
I’ve been using the app for a while now and I can’t believe the variety and different combinations of words and ideas it has to write about. It has made my brain hurt sometimes with some of the words I have had to put together but the challenge of that has been a great deal of fun at the same time. I hope you will check the app out and share what you create with me.
I’ve never heard of that app, I’ll check it out.
Do you use any writing apps?
No, I’ve never tried a writing app. Seems like a good way to practice and develop though.
I’m doing something similar. Interestingly, mine was supposed to be a photo a day response to a given word. A lent practice, which has its own baggage for me but that made it more of a challenge. I thought it might stir my relationship with my camera awake. Suddenly the pen just took over though. You know how those things go.
What a cool visual twist on the app. If you pursue it in the future, I hope you post it.