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Writing prompt: That first time

18 January, 2009

I hunt for writing prompts on the Web to discover useful ones for my daily writing. The basis for this writing prompt is from Totally Optional Prompts. I’ve added to the original, including some variations.

  • Humour  You do not need to be serious or profound. Does anything on the list remind you of something funny, that you can turn into a humorous story?
  • First or third  Try writing in first person (‘I’), then third person (‘she’, ‘he’) to how this change affects your material.
  • Group writing Group members select a category—e.g., relationships, work, nature, home—then brainstorm some relevant firsts/early/memorable elements. Individuals select a topic from the possibilities, freewrite, and share the outcomes.
  • Substitute Don’t let the word first become a straitjacket on your imagination. If it doesn’t work for you, substitute another word, such as early or memorable. You may not remember anything about your first day at a particular job but have some distinct early impressions. And first wedding may not ring any bells, but memorable wedding does.
  • Explore You don’t need to take the topic literally. First death may not refer to someone, but the death of a belief or feeling, the death of your childhood, or the death of a bad habit you’ve kicked. Brainstorm to explore your mental links for the term you choose. You can apply your chosen first to your childhood, teenage years, adulthood, old age. You can apply it to your role as a student, parent, loner, professional.
  • Remember You can start off with the phrase ‘I remember….’, such as ‘I remember my first love.’

That first time

Freewrite about the firsts in your life, the life of another real person, or the life of a fictional character.  Choose one or more of the following firsts and start writing.

  • First vehicle/transport
  • First kiss
  • First marriage
  • First disaster
  • First friend
  • First grade
  • First house/flat/home (as child, as an adult)
  • First honour/recognition
  • First independence
  • First major travel—how (train, plane, or?), where, why
  • First religious experience
  • First drink/drugs
  • First move away
  • First disappointment
  • First death/funeral
  • First memory
  • First injury/operation
  • First date
  • First serious sport/recreation/pastime
  • First boy/girlfriend (romantic or not)
  • First ‘foreign’ adventure (overseas trip, person, movie, meal, cross-cultural experience, etc.)
  • First tragedy
  • First sexual experience
  • First day: e.g., school, work, volunteering, retirement, alone, without, unforgettable, perfect
  • First writing:  short story, poem, class, group, letter to, correspondence from, blog, hate mail
  • First scary experience
  • First heartbreak, heart-heal, separation, reconciliation
  • First sense of being grown-up/having to grow up, puberty (physical/emotional), feeling old
  • First loved music, music group, instrument, song, concert, etc.
  • First obsession
  • First movie
  • First hate
  • First health problem
  • First nostalgia
  • First reunion, e.g. class, relatives, friends
  • First pet, first time without pet
  • First music, concert
  • First piercing
  • First diary
  • First secret
  • First loved/hated teacher, friend, enemy
  • First mystical/puzzling experience
  • First competition
  • First loved location
  • First adventure
  • First hometown
  • First fad
  • First/last sport, amusement, hobby
  • First thing you think of about a specific time in school, person, place
  • Your own first—whatever it is
3 Comments leave one →
  1. aforkinagarbagedisposal permalink
    22 January, 2009 4:42 pm

    This is of a first love.

    A Grotesque Animal


  2. aforkinagarbagedisposal permalink
    21 January, 2009 5:18 pm

    I wrote about my first vehicle.

    Vehicular Virgin


    • Marsha permalink
      22 January, 2009 6:10 pm

      I liked your account of the first car, especially at the beginning when you humanise your relationship with the car. What you wrote about ‘first love’ was unusual in mourning lost love but realising the relationship brought a great gift, writing. Sometimes it takes many years to see what positives failed relationships have brought into one’s life.


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