Roulette Writing Prompt, you can use it anywhere!

Pick up a book (preferably fiction, but others can work).

Open the book to a random page.

Close your eyes, and drop your finger down anywhere onto the page.

Open your eyes to see what sentence your finger landed on.

This sentence is the first line in your writing prompt.

Set a timer for 10- 15 minutes and write.

What book did you choose from?

If you feel like it please share what you wrote or just a line or two with the group?


What a good idea - thank you :smiley:

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Okay - here goes. My first line came out of The Crow Road by Iain Banks: ‘Was it just a story then, dad?’

(written in 10 mins, then typed here, but unedited—sorry for typos, Britishisms, etc., by moi)

“Was it just a story then, dad?”

The earnest question threw me. “Was it just a story?” I suppose so. Hmmm. I never stopped to think about it; had just absorbed it as truth when my own father relayed it to me. Would my own father make it up and let me believe it all these years?

I looked down at my son. Baby fat just beginning to leave his face, smelling of bathtime and something less savory (don’t ask), eyes opened impossibly wide in wonder. “Well,” I said, standing up and tucking in the sheets just as he liked them. I settled his A9001 rocket-launcher model on the shelf opposite, where he could see it when he woke (kids take the weirdest things to bed). “If it’s only a story, how come the whole world knows that people used to live on earth?”

Thanks DeAnna, it was fun. And I had no idea where it was going until I’d written it!


You’re so welcome Lita. It’s great to see you.

Kas, what a great opening line to get to start with, but that last line!

I was like “Whaaaattt!?!?!”

That was so cool!

If that (what you just wrote) was on a dust jacket, I would HAVE to buy the book, excellent!

Aren’t writing prompts amazing in their power to invoke creativity?

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Thank you, DeAnna. Very flattering—what every writer, new or otherwise, wants to hear.

I did enjoy the process, but wasn’t sure where it was going until the last line popped into my mind. I liked the juxtaposition of the mundane scene with the outlandish last line.

Most importantly, however, is that I’m going to try that technique a few more times. As you say, it gets the creative juices flowing. Thanks for suggesting the prompt.

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You are welcome. I have used this technique even in the doctor’s waiting room with whatever magazines are at hand, and you just never know what magic will happen.