Friday, August 19, 2011

100 sites for fiction writers: #43 - The Prompt Writer

This is an ongoing series looking at websites that can be of help to fiction writers with their craft and career.


The Prompt Writer


I thought I would do something a little different once more with this series. This time it's an interview with Christine Senter of the site The Prompt Writer. Below are my questions and her answers from an e-mail interview.

Your site The Prompt Writer is a place for helping writers come up with ideas. What prompted you to come up with the site?

In 2001/2002 I was writing a weekly column for a friend of mine at a site called The E-Writer's Place. The column was called The Write Sites and that's why your list (100 Sites for Fiction Writers) caught my eye so quickly. My friend and I had been discussing writing prompts as she had already created a site with several of her own prompts on it, but she really thought I'd do good with something like that, so I gave it a shot. I started doing a bi-weekly newsletter through Yahoo Groups and in 2004 I bought the domain name. In November we will be 7 years old.

I've noticed you use a lot of different styles of prompts at The Prompt Writer, from single words to sentences to "what if" scenarios, even photo images. Do you find the different stimuli help you come up with story ideas?

Absolutely! That's how the idea really came into play. I would sit down with a pen and an empty notebook and just write idea after idea after idea. After awhile I realized that I had like 6 notebooks full of writing ideas. That's not to say they were all good, but it helped me to brainstorm. Rather than just shelve those ideas, I decided to pass them along to other writers who might need a nudge in the "write" direction, especially for newbies who were trying to get a start in the writing world. I knew how hard it had been for me, and still is, so I wanted to do my part to help them along. Kind of like others had done for me.

How can other writers best use The Prompt Writer site?

Check out the "Prompt Ideas" section which can be found in the left sidebar, or the "Pages" section in the right sidebar. The links that have stars in front of them are all from my original site and newsletter. There's hundreds of ideas and it really comes down to what type of genre the individual prefers to write in. I've tried to offer a little something to everyone, but you'll notice I have a soft spot for fiction writers. They totally amaze me.

What are some of your goals for the site?

Honestly, it's already exceeded all my expectations. I never thought I'd be coming up on the 7th anniversary of the site or that I'd still be doing this almost 10 years later. I've tried to take the blog/site in different directions in the past, but I always end up coming back to doing just good old fashioned writing prompts. I think everyone has a special calling and I think this might be mine.

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a writer? What are your goals? Aspirations? Do you have any works available for reading? What about other blogs you'd like to mention?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. I was inventing "friends" as a little kid and even creating whole worlds around them. My mother was very worried about me, but now she thinks I'm a genius. LOL -- I have a deep love of short stories which is why I don't have very many things published. I am working on a novella right now, but it's still a work in progress.

Unfortunately, most of the online publications I'd written for in the past have gone under. I've had a couple stories and a few poems published over the past 10 years, and am working toward getting back into the fiction game. I've spent the past 4 years working as a ghost writer for several niche bloggers and that takes up a lot of my writing time. Along with that, I run several of my own blogs, though they don't all get updated as often as I'd like. My personal site, ChristineSenter.com, is a huge mish-mash of ideas and thoughts and oddities that really explain the real me. I'm in the process of trying to keep both sites updated each day throughout the month of August for the NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) monthly challenge. This month's theme was simply "fiction," and it's really helped me to get back on the right path.

I have posted a couple of my stories on my own blog: The Legend, and Life On the Rocks.

What are some of your favorite books? Authors? Or do you prefer other areas of writing, such as poetry or screenwriting?

One of my favorite books is called The Tuesday Blade by Bob Ottum, and my other favorite is called While The Savage Sleeps written by a relative newcomer to the world of fiction, Andrew E. Kaufman.  He was one of the lucky ones as his very first novel made it to #1 on Amazon.com.  He's a great author and a very cool guy. I love writing short stories, but my other love is poetry. And as very UNpopular as it is, I love rhyming poetry. I love the rhythm, the meter, the flow. If it's done right, it can take me into an entirely different world. I've written several poems over the years, and have had quite a few of them published both online and in print. I have a few of them on one of my other sites, Priestess Of Words.

Outside of writing, I've been married for 21 years and I've got 2 great kids.  My son is in the US Navy and my daughter is starting her senior year of high school.  I spent 13 years as a Boy Scout leader and I consider myself a child of God, though I don't really subscribe to any one denomination.


Closing comments


Christine, thank you for introducing yourself and The Writing Prompt. From what I've seen, yours is an excellent site for fiction writers needing ideas or looking for new ways to brainstorm ideas. Beginning writers will find The Writing Prompt quite useful, but even the pros are likely to find something of interest.

Thanks for the interview, and good luck with all your writing dreams!

2 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting interview. I've not been to the site but will have to check it out. Generally I have so many prompts in my head anyway that I don't have time to write. I have taken part in prompt contests, though.

Christine said...

Hey Ty,

Thank you so much for showcasing my site and, well, me. I had a blast with this.

I'm looking forward to the rest of your list, but am more than honored to be a part of it.