Prompts and Playlists

  • You’re the kid with average intelligence at a school for prodigies. How do you survive?
  •  One minute you’re in your house. The next minute, you’re surrounded by three demons. They drop their Ouija board and run into the bathroom, locking the door.

          “I told you we shouldn’t have touched it!” one screams. What happens next?

  • You have a secret. You’ve always seen translucent floating numbers above everyone’s head. Most have a zero, and a few have a one, but your girlfriend had a 37. You witness a murder on your way to propose. The murderer’s number goes from a one to a zero as he pulls the trigger. What do you do?
  • Write a piece or scene inspired by this image/setting:    Image result for spooky house


          Ever need to write a fight scene, but you’re just not feeling it? Or maybe you need to describe an epic chase, but your pajama-clad self isn’t in the mood to even think about running. It’s okay, it happens to the best of us. Luckily, this type of writer’s block can often be easily remedied with some “mood” music. (Don’t worry, no candles necessary). This playlist, hand-curated by moi, is perfect for writing high action scenes or scenes with a lot of tension. For chase scenes, in particular, I recommend starting with one of the songs from the Inception playlist by Hans Zimmer, as it has a lot of energy and tension and will surely make you feel it, too! (Most of the songs on the playlist are by Hans, because he is a musical god, and chances are if you’ve ever been to a movie where you really notice just how good the soundtrack is, it’s because it was composed by Hans Zimmer).

Also featured a lot on this playlist is a group called Two Steps from Hell. They have such a variety of albums and songs that if you’re craving more of their music you have lots to choose from. Don’t worry, they’re not as scary as they sound. Farther down the list, two songs from Mad Max by Junkie XL make an appearance, and if I could choose background music for my life, I would pick “Brothers in Arms” and “Immortal’s Citadel” without hesitation- they’re epic and motivating. Next, we have Klaus Badelt’s songs from Pirates of the Caribbean, which are pure gold, to put it plainly. And the cherry on top is “Prelude: the Atlas March”, a short and soft piece good for writing about resolved conflicts, emotional moments, or making readers feel warm and safe before ripping their beloved characters away.

So next time you’re feeling a little low energy on a deadline, pop in or pop on those headphones and headsets and let the music wake you up. You’ll feel like you’re being chased in no time.– Lexi Velte


Write a piece or scene from a piece where the focal point has something to do with vision being hindered (blindness, fog, mist, smoke, darkness, etc).

Write a piece from the perspective of someone’s shadow (like the kind that one might cast on the ground).

Write a piece or a scene from a piece where you or your character must hold back from saying something they really want to say.

Write a piece or a scene from a piece inspired by/involving this setting:


My playlist consists of songs mainly from movie and television soundtracks because I find it easiest to listen to instrumental songs while I read and write. This playlist is particularly good for writing prose, because some songs make you feel a certain way, and can affect your plot. When I write, I do not like to do any planning before starting my first draft so the effects of the music on my plot can be very surprising for me as a writer. Regarding my choices in specific songs, I find it comforting to write while listening to soft, calm songs in order to allow me to conjure ideas and plot points for my story. I also find this playlist helpful when writing poetry because, again, the different tones in the music will help further the story or meaning in my piece. With poetry specifically, these songs help to allow you to have your own thoughts, while you can still be affected by the different sounds you hear while writing. This playlist has helped me get through many pieces, and has added surprising twists and turns that even I, as the writer, did not expect. I feel that when writing, it is not beneficial to write in the silence, because that way, you are not limited to the thoughts and ideas you had before you began writing, but you also have the unexpected ideas that come to you as you listen to the songs and different dulcet tones. – Anna Moye