Posted on by Steven Savage

OK gang, I’ve finished my updates to the Writing Prompt Generator.  Added some new intros, spices up a few basic openings, and added a bit more variance to a common phrase or two.

As for now, I think I definitely need to take a break from it, so I’ll consider it “good enough” for now – to judge by the comments I’ve gotten.  However I should return to it in the future.

This is one that was extremely educational.  What stood out was this:

  • You need to really vary the openings.  Openings, even mildly different, really seem to inspire people.
  • Slight turns of phrase have big effects.  “always,” “almost always,” and “sometimes” are very different.
  • You’ve got to have a kind of opening that makes people want to hear what happens next, wonder what happens next, or tell what happens next.  The ending is important as well.
  • Little changes in tone, time, opening, description can have vast effects.  These generators are “multiplicative.”
  • The economy of words, the fact it has to be one sentence, really means you have to pack a lot into a single set of words.  I appreciate how hard it is to find good opening lines more now – and I write as well.  Analyzing it was humbling.
  • This was the hardest generator I’ve done because of the mix of psychology, literature, and variability.  I figured it would be easier than it was.  On the other hand I learned a lot doing it, especially on how to vary language for inspiration.
  • Not all generators have to be “done.”  From the start.  Normally I like to release them complete, but it’s fine to take feedback.  In fact, it’s a lot of fun to be frank and I need to do it more.

Next up I’m taking a break, then have some other generators I want to do that are in various stages of design.  Ironically one builds on some inspiration from the start of the year when I asked people for advice . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, publishes books on career and culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

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