Margaret Atwood eloquently captured the struggle of many emerging writers when she said: “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” Although it’s much more romantic to imagine screenwriting as a god given talent rather than an acquired skill, the truth is that the key to becoming a skilled screenwriter is to take risks, make mistakes, and practice, practice, practice.
The hardest part of improving your screenwriting skills is mustering up willpower to dedicate some time each day to work on it. The easiest part is finding screenwriting prompts online. There is a wealth of free and easily accessible exercises that will help cut through even the most stubborn writer’s block.
Here’s a few of our favorites:
Only have a minute to unlock your creative genius? One Word gives users a single word to use as a prompt, and sixty seconds to write about it. After the time has elapsed you are invited to submit what you have written, and to read what others managed to come up with in the same span of time. It’s exposure therapy for perfectionists, and after a few rounds it may prove to be both addictive and liberating.
Sample Prompt: Pawn
This massive list of 365 writing prompts will save you from clicking through pages to find something that inspires you to write, or give you enough material for an entire year worth of sessions. Stretch your writing muscles and try to fill these prompts through a variety of writing styles– with poetry, prose,, lyrics, screenwriting and creative non-fiction.
Sample Prompt: Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article. Write about whichever page you get.
Reddit proves that it has more to offer than an endless scroll of memes. This writing community has nearly ten million subscribers and dozens of creative (and frequently humorous) prompts daily. There is quite a lot of content to sort through, so consider sorting by the top links of all time.
Sample Prompt: A friendship between a time traveler and an immortal. Wherever the time traveler ends up, the immortal is there to catch him up to speed.
If you prefer the text of your writing prompts to be accompanied by images, then this Tumblr site is for you. With an extensive collection of prompts rich in humour and focused on pop culture, this site may make your daily exercise a little more fun.
Sample Prompt: Unsinkable + Undead: A zombie plague breaks out on the Titanic.
Posted weekly, with a back catalogue of hundreds of prompts spanning from 2011, Writer’s Digest is an excellent resource for varied and interesting prompts that are sure to kickstart any story.
Sample Prompt: Write a story about three people who are on a road trip together, only to stop off at a gas station and pick up a fourth person whom they don’t know. Why did they pick this person up? Where are they taking him/her? What happens?
What is your go to cure for writer’s block? Comment on our Facebook page and join the conversation!