Cover Image: Create a Story

Create a Story

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Member Reviews

A big thank-you to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for giving me a copy of this book for an unbiased review.

2/5 - Not for me. 

I appreciate the set up of the book and admit that I seem to be in the minority in terms of not being thrilled with it. There wasn't really anything wrong with the prompts, but I did not find them too engaging. There were a few I noted as possible options for writing on later, but nothing that made me want to drop what I was doing and get started. 

I also wasn't very excited about the word banks - I would have loved the words to have challenged me further as a writer, maybe testing the way I normally might think of a word in a specific context. Instead, they were quite predictable and repeated between prompts. 

I can see how this book might be a good source of inspiration for other writers; it just didn't do it for me.
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I did not get a chance to review this book before it was archived, but I did find it to be helpful in my writing practice. I liked the prompts and found it easy to generate ideas and get to writing. I am trying to develop a regular writing practice, and as I went through the prompts, I didn't use them all but did get a jumping off point from what I found.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I received an advance reader copy of this book to read in exchange for an honest review via netgalley and the publishers.

Create a story is a book of writing prompts to help you think of ideas to write a story, help with writers block and get your creative juices flowing. Each page has a writing prompt and then at the bottom of the page it has a list of words to use relating to the prompt for the story. 
This book is more of a journal type book and some of the topics/prompts would need additional research of the subject to write a story. 
Overall I found this a fantastic book resource and will be giving afew of the prompts a go to try and get myself more into writing my own short stories.
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This book is an interesting collection of story prompts to get your imagination going when it's stuck. Some of the prompts are for topics that you need previous knowledge of (or a willingness to put research into), but overall I found them entertaining.
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There’s not really a huge amount to say about this book, a “prompt journal to help you write a story”. It’s a lovely little idea, there’s a large select of prompts, what you then do with it is entirely on you!

The prompts are split into ten genres, with the usual e.g. romance, fantasy, horror, and also some slightly less obvious ones like ‘life experience’. Each page is then a brief prompt, e.g. “Write a story about a magician in the court of an Egyptian Pharaoh”, space to write your story, and then some ‘word associations’ which are 15 themed words to try to get into your narrative e.g. tyrant, crown, labour, survive. (sample of the layout shown in the picture). And that’s really it, for almost 200 prompts.

As the intro says, the point of the book is to help you overcome a bit of writer’s block. You don’t have to work through the book in order – dip into whichever genre takes your fancy (they are indicated in the book by a differing icon in the corner). I really loved the last comment, “Use this journal as a playground.”

Personally, I rather like both the format and the prompts. I was going to list a couple of favourites, but to be honest they’re all rather good – brief enough to allow for maximum creativity, but each with just that spark that makes it really interesting. “A bored employee gets control of the social media accounts of a billion-dollar company”, “Deja vu – or is it?”, “A day in the life of the Voodoo Queen”. Something is just a bit more considered than e.g. finding random prompts online, I’d say. And the constrained space – plus those optional extra words to use – make each seem very doable, too.

Overall I think this is a lovely little book for sparking a bit of creativity. I just hope I don’t owe Chartwell or NetGalley any royalties when one of the prompts gets turned into my best selling novel ;) lol!
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I’m not enamoured with the formatting of this book, which has lots of empty space, though not quite enough to write in. However, the prompts could be great for shifting creative blocks and using as jumping off points. They are listed under headings like: mystery, romance, fantasy, comedy. The ones that worked best for me were the more specific and imaginative ones (like “a taxi driver meets his doppelgänger”); some, like “dreams come true” were a bit too broad. I’d recommend this book for writer’s block, or for re-igniting a sense of playfulness in your writing if your current project is getting a bit stale.
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I love this idea of having writing prompts for a genre and having to use words associated with each prompt.
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I always love books that give advice on writing, such as Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott and Creating Magic by Gail Carson Levine. I was expecting a book similar to these upon seeing it.  I was wrong.  This book is similar to an elementary summer work book that parents force upon their children over the break.  That being said, I’m sure it has a place in this world, and I’m sure some people would like this book. I am not one of them. This book would not be a good purchase for a library either because it would encourage people to write in the book, as if it is their own copy.

Not a fan of this one
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Thank you to both #NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group/Chartwell Books for providing me an advance copy of the publishing group’s reference book, Create a Story, in exchange for an honest review. 

#CreateaStory is essentially a personal journal that is divided into ten different writing prompt topics. Each of the ten sections has its own overarching them (or genre) and provides twenty prompts per topic. For instance, under the mystery and suspense section, you would find twenty writing prompts along with fifteen key words that the author challenges you to include in your daily writing.

This is not so much a book as it is a random generator of prompt topics to get your morning pages flowing.
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I look at books such as this one through a teacher’s lens. I love the conceit here, the presentation of a prompt, within a genre, with 15 related words to use or inspire. A great model for supporting writing. That being said, as a teacher, I’d be quite selective of the prompts I chose. There are some that feel wrong, especially within the historical fiction section - having kids imagine themselves in some instances doesn’t pan out well. There are some more mature ones as well.
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Look between these covers and find your wild imagination

Posted on February 27, 2021 by michellelovatosbookreviews, world's first book color commentator, book reviews with a twist

Oh no. I never get writer’s block. And I never, ever exercise my “muse” to practice writing. One thing I do, however, is lie about getting writer’s block, and lie that I don’t practice daily. My muse is muscular.
You have to understand the mentality of a writer. I assure you. We have our own unique and colorful personalities. And writers like journals. After all, we create word collections. What better way to accomplish that goal than to write a book? Who cares if it’s a journal. A book is a book. I have boxes of them.
We believe our thought process is like a path. A writer follows his thoughts down a road to self-discovery, fantastical storytelling, and the horror of what truly boils in the center of his mind.
So it is the natural progression of a writer’s thought process that if they had something with which to write their thoughts down on paper, they could remember what on earth they were thinking in the first place.
There’s an entire journaling industry for writers and thinkers. I would know. I have two writing prompt journals on the market at this minute, and both of them sell well.
(Shameless plug: Thank you, Lord for all life’s circumstances and Finding Faith: Stories of wellness and hope.)
Now, back to the column. In addition to writing random thoughts, word phrases, and questions in one location, every writer needs to write … daily.
Me too. That’s why I write this book review with a twist blog.
It started early in my career. I wanted to experiment with my own limits, see where my mind would travel; see how much my hands would say if I put pen to paper, and later, fingers to keyboard.
That’s where Create a Story: A Prompt Journal to Help You Write a Story, to be released in April from Quatro’s Chartwell Books comes into this picture.
Create a Story is an excellent writer’s practice tool. I’d call this a full-body workout for the story creator. Presented in physical form, Create a Story is like a writing coach between two covers.
Sounds racy, huh?
Could be. Depends on how you take it when you crack these covers and begin responding to its many interesting and varied prompt ideas.
The best way to enjoy this journal is to get yourself a reliable dictation program, tablet S pen, phone app, computer file, good old-fashioned paper notebook, or use the journal itself, find a prompt that is calling your name, and start creating.
Who says you have to go in order? Who says you have to hit a word count or a deadline to finish? Just go. Relax and have fun. That’s what it’s about.
Writer’s block can be stressful. I know. I spent years of non-productivity suffering from the overwhelming taunting fear of writer’s block. I went through trauma after trauma without a journal, without a method to release my emotion, my pinned-up muse. I get it.
This book is not a writer’s block remedy – something you pick up from your local book pharmacist’s shelf, down in a gulp, and wait for a Hemmingway revelation.
It’s more like miniature golfing with words. It’s fun. It’s a joy. Look at this book with that thought in your head and, bammo! Writer’s block? What’s that?
Give this book to any human being – or talking animal – with the innate desire and vacuum-attraction to writing. Then pass on this message from me:
Run, writer, run.
Run like the wind.
Run right through your own mind, through your imagination with pleasure and joy. And let the freedom of creative expression surround you. Let the pleasure of storytelling fill you from the inside out.
And enjoy.

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Happy are those who respect the Lord and obey him. You will enjoy what you work for, and you will be blessed with good things. Psalm 128: 1-2
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This book sets out writing prompt after writing prompt to spark your imagination.  Each prompt is accompanied by a word bank, which you can use for further inspiration or for potential incorporation into your story.  The prompts are fairly specific, invoking a certain time period or a certain sort of person, which is helpful if you're really stuck and need something concrete to hold on to.  Oddly, there isn't a lot of room for you to write your story in the book, so the blank spaces provided are not very helpful  It might have been better to suggest writing stories on your own paper, but I guess that would have made the book a lot shorter.  Ultimately, I'm not exactly sure who this book is for, but I want to go out on a limb and say this might be helpful for advanced students of English.  The word banks create some structure and introduce new vocabulary and the small writing space keeps the act of producing language from becoming too overwhelming.
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A brilliant book with an imaginative collection of prompts that will really kickstart your story. Only one problem: it only contains prompts and only one prompt per page. It would be much better if the prompts also came with tips  about writing in that genere. This was still very a valuble book for new writers who need help getting started.
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A nice selection of prompts to trigger creativity. Perfect for writer's block. I would recommend if you are an aspiring writer and need a boost!
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"Create a Story" is a very useful journal, and I find it to be a wonderful gift for my friends who have a literary bent.

In 10 different genre sections (historical fiction, murder, romance, et al), you will find 200 prompts to break through writers block. Each prompt provides 15 words to challenge the writer to brainstorm or incorporate into each story. And since this is a journal, you will find a layout  where each prompt page provides blank lines to get you started.

One prompt example under Historical Fiction is "Arriving in a small town that has a secret", which suggests the following 15 words: cult, mystery, murder, power, stranger, newcomer, alien, weapon, silence, danger, police, hidden, map, discovery, and bond.

Other very creative prompts I am working on from this collection are:
* waking up in the body of the person you hate
* an artist who lost their muse
* a taxi driver who picks up his doppelganger

And here's a prompt I will share with my Shakespeare-obsessed friend: "Rival gang members fall in love."

Overall, I find this collection to be one of the more inventive writing prompt books I have encountered through the years; I also like that comes in a journal format so the user can jump right in with a sharpened pencil -- to boldly go where few have gone thus far.
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This is a nice little book with writing prompts in several genres. It's quite useful - I used a couple of the prompts to start a short story, and I'm sure I'll use a few more. 

These prompts are decent for writing exercises, as there are suggestions of words to use, too. 

This is handy for writers who like having prompts to spark an idea. It does not provide writing advice, though, so don't expect tips. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for this.
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Create a Story from the Editors of Chartwell Books is a nice collection of writing prompts sorted by genre, though they encourage genre play rather than necessarily sticking to the suggested genre.

Every prompt won't immediately speak to every writer, that is to be expected. I would suggest taking the ones that appeal to you the least and playing with them anyway. I took one thatI really didn't care about and did some freewriting that tended to subvert both the suggested topic and genre. It was useful for me, it sparked some ideas I likely would never have had.

Each prompt is accompanied by a mostly blank page and some associated words to either use in the story or to help generate ideas. While the amount of free space is not significant, I used it for an initial brainstorming session, maybe the direction I might go, maybe something I thought of I would want to include in a story, whether a very brief freewriting story to unblock my mind or a longer story I might consider editing and sharing.

I recommend this to anyone who likes or, like me, needs to write. These aren't perfect, but such a thing doesn't exist, so just have fun with it. You may, again as I did, accidentally stumble across something that will fit into something you're currently working on.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Create A Story is neither a story nor a guidebook -- this is a notebook filled with interesting prompts and wordbanks to get you writing. I wouldn’t have minded a little instruction, but the sheer variety and volume of the prompts makes this a fabulous brainstorming tool.

After two succinct paragraphs of encouragement, you’re dropped right into the prompts. No fanfare, no guidance, just a blank book waiting for you to fill it. Each genre is marked with a cute line drawing in the margin and is discreet enough that mixing genres is easy. The prompted genres include:

Historical Fiction
Mystery & Suspense
Romance
Life Experience
Comedy
Fantasy
Action & Adventure
Horror
Science Fiction
Western

So no matter which genre you prefer, you’re sure to find a prompt that inspires. There’s no guidance whatsoever. This may be encouraging to writers who prefer no instruction, but for inexperienced writers, a few paragraphs on story structure or genre tropes wouldn’t hurt. 

The prompts within genres are wide-ranging. In the romance category, you may find prompts as simple as “a prince falls in love with his servant,” to out-there ideas about “a person who is guided by Cupid in their dreams and starts a matchmaking service.” Add that to 15 words to include in the story (arrow, oracle, meddle, arrange, etc) and it’s probably impossible for a creative person to find zero inspiration between these pages.

Overall, this is a great idea-sparking notebook. There isn’t much space to write, but plenty for jotting down ideas and plot points to write elsewhere. A physical copy would make a great gift for anyone suffering from writer’s block.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this title in exchange for my honest review.
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It a fun way to help you get back in storie telling. It challanges you to be creative. I would have liked to see some ilustrations.
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Create a Story is a book of prompts on different subjects to get you started on a writing quest.  The prompts are varied, and some are quite inspiring while others are a little dull and disappointing.  I did think the format was a bit wasteful as there would never be enough room on a single side to write anything significant, however the word bank for each prompt was very good.  It would have been better to include more prompts and allow the writer to use a separate notebook.  Overall a good idea that might kick start a writer or two.
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