Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Writer’s Prompts

Is Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” An Extended Writing Prompt?

For that matter, is any music you happen to love a writing prompt?

I heartily encourage my readers who are writers (and, those who are not yet writers) to listen to The Wall

Have a pen and paper or a simple computer note-taker handy

If you don’t get at least one dynamite writing idea, I’ll return your full purchase price :-)

Also, if you’ve heard Pink Floyd and can’t stand them, please tell us in the Comments what music gives you writing ideas

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“…well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas.”

Writers are usually open to nearly anything that will feed them new ideas—seems to be one of the few traits that could be attributed to most writers

The title of this post is a quote from the Wikipedia article about Denis Dutton; it refers to a site he founded called Arts & Letters Daily.

Here’s the full quote:

“Dutton was best known for the web aggregation site Arts & Letters Daily, which he founded in 1998 and which secured him a place among ‘the most influential media personalities in the world’. The site, described as ‘the first and foremost aggregator of well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas’, features links to articles across the web about literature, art, science, and politics, for which Dutton wrote pithy teasers. In recognition of Arts & Letters Daily, Steven Pinker called Dutton a visionary for recognizing that a website ‘could be a forum for cutting-edge ideas, not just a way to sell things or entertain the bored’.”

I discovered A&LD many years ago and promptly forgot about it; rediscovered it a number of times; re-forgot about it; and, now, will make it known to you, hoping some of you will remember and use it :-)

It truly is a long-lived and remarkable web site.

By copying it’s side-bar of links, I’ll relieve myself of writing more in this particular post; but, really, I’d be hard-pressed to do it justice by trying to describe such a wide-ranging resource. ENJOY :-)

N.B.: These links will not open a new window—you may want to bookmark this post before you go exploring………

Nota Bene Clive James: By the book Not these words! Top literary pet Slabs of bleeding cow Exhuming Neruda Have money, will publish Heart-sinking comma Proust’s handwriting Thesis hatement Hitler’s food taster “Creative” writing Word aversion The Bard, tax dodger “Ungoogleable”

Breaking News ABC / AP / BBC / CBC / CBS / CNBC / CNN / Fox / Google / MarketWatch / MSNBC / NBC / NPR / Reuters / Yahoo

Newspapers The Australian Beirut Daily Star Boston Globe CS Monitor Chicago Tribune Financial Times Globe & Mail Guardian / Observer Ha’aretz The Hindu The Independent Japan Times Jerusalem Post London Telegraph Los Angeles Times Moscow Times National Post New York Times New Zealand Herald SMH USA Today Washington Post

Magazines Aeon The American American Conservative American Heritage American Interest American Journal Rev American Prospect American Review American Scholar American Scientist American Spectator Armed Forces Journal Art News Artforum Atlantic Monthly Axess Azure Big Questions Boston Globe Ideas Boston Review Chron of Higher Ed Chron of Philanthropy Chronicle Review CIA Studies City Journal Columbia Journal Rev Commentary Common-place Common Review Commonweal Defining Ideas Democracy Discover Dissent The Economist The European Evolutionary Psych First Things Forbes Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy Fortnightly Review Harper’s History Today Hoover Digest Hudson Review The Humanist Humanities Independent Review Intelligent Life In These Times Jacobin Lambda Literary Review Lapham’s Quarterly Le Monde Diplo The Liberal Maclean’s Miller-McCune Mother Jones Ms. Magazine The Nation National Affairs National Interest National Journal National Review New Atlantis New Criterion New English Review New Left Review New Republic New Scientist New Statesman New York Magazine New York Observer New York Press NY Times Magazine New Yorker Newsweek Parameters Paris Review Philosophers’ Mag Philosophy & Literature Philosophy Now Poetry Poets & Writers Policy Policy Review The Progressive Prospect Psychology Today Quadrant Reason Salon Scientific American Seed Skeptical Inquirer Slate Smithsonian Magazine The Spectator Standpoint Der Spiegel Technology Review Threepenny Review Tikkun Time Magazine US News Utne Reader Village Voice WSJ Opinion The Walrus Washington Monthly Weekly Standard Wilson Quarterly Wired World Affairs

Book Reviews American Scholar Books Atlantic Books Australian Literary Rev Australian Book Review B&N Review Book Beast Books & Culture Bookforum Boston Globe Books Chronicle Review Claremont Review Complete Review CS Monitor Books Denver Post Dublin Review Economist Books Financial Times Books Globe & Mail Books Guardian Lit News Guardian Books The Hindu Books Independent Books January Magazine Jewish Review of Books Literary Review London Review Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Review of Books Melbourne Age Metapsychology n+1 Books The Nation Books New Haven Review New Statesman Books New Republic Books New York Review NY Times Books New Yorker Book Blog Newsday Books Open Letters Philly Inquirer Books Salon Books SF Chronicle Books Scotsman Books Slate Books Spectator Books Spiked Books Tablet Books Telegraph Books Times Higher Ed Books The TLS University Bookman Village Voice Washington Post Washington Times WSJ Books Wilson Quarterly

Columnists David Aaronovitch Janet Albrechtsen Eric Alterman Anne Applebaum Timothy Garton Ash Michael Bassett Bruce Bawer Alex Beam James Bowman Robert Boynton Samuel Brittan David Brooks Trevor Butterworth Jon Carroll Noam Chomsky Gail Collins Joe Conason Clive Crook Meghan Daum Miranda Devine E.J. Dionne Jr. Michael Dirda Maureen Dowd Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Suzanne Fields Daniel Finkelstein Robert Fisk Thomas Friedman Robert Fulford Frank Furedi Malcolm Gladwell Ellen Goodman Victor Davis Hanson Johann Hari Nat Hentoff David Horowitz Jeff Jacoby Clive James Robert Kagan Mickey Kaus Roger Kimball Martin Kramer Morton Kondracke Chas Krauthammer Paul Krugman Howard Kurtz Norman Lebrecht James Lileks Tod Lindberg Salim Mansour Mark Morford Brendan O’Neill Camille Paglia John Allen Paulos William Pfaff Melanie Phillips Daniel Pipes Katha Pollitt Virginia Postrel Dorothy Rabinowitz Jonathan Rauch Carlin Romano Milt Rosenberg Roger Sandall Sam Smith Thomas Sowell Mark Steyn Andrew Sullivan John Tierney Tunku Varadarajan Shankar Vedantam David Warren Margaret Wente George Will Keith Windschuttle Jonathan Yardley William Zinsser

Favorites Arion Baker Street Irregulars Big Think Bloggingheads Butterflies & Wheels Climate Debate Daily Cognition & Culture CounterPunch Cultural Weekly The Daily Beast Daily Caller Debka File Drudge Report Ducts Economic Principals Edge Ethics & Policy Eurozine FrontPage Gene Expression Fora TV Globalist Guernica Magazine I Want Media Ifeminists Improbable Research Jewcy Jewish Ideas Daily Killing the Buddha Lapham’s Quarterly Logos MEMRI Mr. Beller’s ‘hood Nationmaster Nthposition Obscure Store Open Culture Open Democracy Overlawyered The Page Poetry Project Syndicate Quackwatch Romenesko Rutherford Journal Science/Creationism Shakespeare Web Skeptic’s Dictionary Smart Set Snopes Social Issues Centre Spiked-Online Strange Maps Table Matters TED ThoughtCast TomPaine Top Ten Books Web del Sol Woodpile Report Words Without Borders

Weblogs Ira Altschiller Amygdalit Bryan Appleyard Armavirumque Larry Arnhart Atrios Adam Baer David Barash Matthew Battles Graham Beattie Becker and Posner Two Blowhards Bob’s Art Blog David Bordwell Brainstorm Britannica Copy, Shake, and Paste Crooked Timber Lawrence Solum Chicago Boyz The Corner Colby Cosh Eric Crampton Culture Wars Richard Dawkins Brad DeLong A.C.Douglas Epicurean Dealmaker Amitai Etzioni Stephen Franks Peter Ginna Instapundit Michael Kaplan Allen MacNeill Marginal Revolution Norman Geras Lester Hunt IWF Inkwell Steven Johnson Brothers Judd Satoshi Kanazawa Daily Kos Brian Leiter Little Green Footballs Derek Lowe Colin Marshall Grant McCracken Steve McIntyre Warren Meyer Middle East Strategy D.G.Myers John Naughton The New Inquiry Gloria Origgi Overcoming Bias Bibliographing Chequer-Board Page Views Michael Phillips Political Animal Matthew Price The Revealer Matt Ridley Stephen Romei Alex Ross Lib Samizdata Russell Seitz Peter Stothard David Sucher Talking Points Memo Three Quarks Daily The Valve Volokh Conspiracy Nigel Warburton Will Wilkinson James Wolcott Wonkette Woodward & Hall Toby Young

Radio News NPR Hourly News: RealAudio 24hr Stream: Windows C-SPAN Streams: RealAudio/Windows BBC World Service: Bulletins: RealAudio 24hr Stream: RealAudio CBC Radio One: Windows Australia ABC: RealAudio/Windows VOA News: RealAudio Deutsche Welle TV: Video World Radio Network: WRN Schedules Windows streaming Public Radio Fan

Radio Music ABC Classic Real/Windows AccuRadio classical Instant Bach BBC 3 Real WCPE Windows/Real Classic Archive Concertzender Bartok Radio Real KUOL Real/Windows Klassik Hamburg Windows Bayern Klassik Windows RNE Clásica KBPS Classic Real KING Windows KUSC Real/Windows Swiss Classic WFMT Windows WNYC Windows/ITunes WRCJ Detroit WGBH Boston WGUC Windows WQXR Windows WQXR’s Q2 Windows Cool Blue Windows Classical links Europe Classical links USA

Diversions Scarlatti Sonatas Bad Writing Contest Blackjack Cracked Darwin Awards Dilbert Leno, Letterman jokes The Onion Poetry Daily Smoke-Free Carmen Wine Lovers’ Page

Classics Francis Fukuyama on the End of History Robert Kagan on Power and Weakness New York Review of Books, vol. 1 no. 1 The Russian Empire, 1910, in full color Elizabeth Loftus on False Memories Kahlil Gibran, forsooth Is God an Accident? The Death of Lit Crit Keep Computers Out of Classrooms Newsweek on Threats of Global Cooling Julian Simon, Doomslayer Martha Nussbaum on Judith Butler George Orwell: English Language World’s Worst Editing Guide The Fable of the Keys The Snuff Film: an Urban Legend The Abduction of Opera

Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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More Writing Prompts . . .

Some folks feel “Writing Prompts” is an overused phrase, suggesting “Self-Assignments” is a “nicer” way to indicate that many writers need a jolt to get over the dark depression called “Writer’s Block”.

Back in March, I had a post here called All Kinds of Writing Prompts . . . in which I said:

“Prompting can come from more than a word or two. It may be a sentence heard or read, an article or essay, or even a complete book that Prompts the writer to take things in their own literary direction

There’s a fascinating site referenced in that post that has full stories that can be used to get the creative writer moving.

One response to that post is worth replicating here:

“I have blocks on rare occasions, but they’re never lacks of ideas so much as a lack of inspiration to work on the ones I have. All a prompt is going to do is add another idea to not write about to the list — lol”

Perhaps that writer needs more “Reason To Write”—more confidence in their ability to say things that are valuable to others

Of course, a writer doesn’t have to imagine they suffer from writer’s block to use writing prompts; and, the wide world outside the writer’s cave has a plethora of prompts—moving, breathing, blooming, careening prompts

But, I do understand the situation, most deeply and personally, of a writer who would rather stay in the cave and reach out electronically.


Even though it’s easy enough to put “writing prompts” into Google and become deluged with options, here are a few of my Picks:

Easy Street Prompts — with picture and video prompts plus random words.

Visual Writing Prompts — which isn’t actually only visual and could be considered to have “plot prompts” or even “I Dare You to Write” Prompts.

writing prompts — is a wonderful collection of words and images, creativiely juxtaposed and offered by a teacher who has a Wish List on Amazon for their students <<< you can buy books for the kids :-)

The Time Is Now — from one of my Best Friend’s favorite Sites, Poets & Writers—with Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction Prompts; plus, a side-bar with various writers’ methods of inspiration.

Creative Writing Prompts — is a real grab-bag of highly-varied prompts.

Have any favorite writing prompt spaces or techniques?

Do, please, share them in the Comments :-)
Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
* Google Author Page

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