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642 Things to Write About

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  846 ratings  ·  72 reviews
This collection of 642 outrageous and witty writing prompts will get the creative juices flowing in no time. From crafting your own obituary to penning an ode to an onion, each page of this playful journal invites inspiration and provides plenty of space to write. Brimming with entertaining exercises from the literary minds of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, this is the ...more
Paperback, First, 304 pages
Published 2011 by Chronicle Books LLC
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I rarely buy paper books anymore, and have enough books of writing prompts left unused that getting yet another seemed fairly pointless... However, when I glanced through this one at the local bookstore today, I knew I had to get it.

One of the reasons I never manage to use the other prompt-books is that my free time away from the computer tends to be in places that make juggling a pad of paper, pencil/pen, and book problematic; alternately, I'll have a great location, only to have my imagination
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it

If each decade of your life was represented by a pop song, what would they be?

For anyone who wants to start writing or already writes but has occasional blockages of the keyboard, this is a decent book to learn or reboot one's inner writer. Formatted to look like an essay notebook, one can either write within the book itself or use the suggested topics to create elsewhere.

Write stage directions for an actor that insult him or her personally all along the way.

Some of the suggestions are howlers w
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
I got this for my birthday earlier this year, and I have to say it's helping me get my writers block out of my system pretty well. I can't say I'm a great writer. I still think I can do better, way better than I'm doing now. I'm still young, of course, but one of my dreams is writing books. Maybe not in the next few years, but definitely someday, when I'm ready. Books like these make me want to write again, make me fall in love with the idea of writing, and honestly, make me want to lock myself ...more
Miquel Reina
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
642 Things to write about
This is a book that a good friend of mine gave me a year ago. I will say that is not a conventional book in which you read a story written by an author, quite the opposite. 642 things to Write About is a white paper sheet. Page by page the book will go testing your capacity for invention, use of vocabulary and above all, your creativity. It's a great way to explore the potential we all have as creative and writer.

Spanish version: Este es un libro que una buena amiga mía
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
What would my life be like without notebooks? I am constantly bringing one around everywhere I go, I have a notebook for friggin everything, and I just love to write. This book is great for anyone who doesn't do much writing and maybe hasn't a clue what to write about. It has dozens of topics, scenarios, and short creative writing activities that in my opinion would better anyone's creativity flow. If you just do not know what to write about, you love to write but you find yourself staring at a ...more
Jan 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is really clever if you have a writer's block or lack inspiration about what to write about. I also find it useful to swap through it to get some inspiration the day before we're supposed to write a story in school etc.

It has the strangest prompts, though. For example:

-"Describe a professor coming on to one of his students"
-"Write a sex scene you wouldn't show your mom" (and then in the next prompt, you're supposed to rewrite it into one you would show your mum)
-"What your desk thinks
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As an aspiring writer, I am unfortunately too familiar with writer's block, and find myself writing and re-writing the same paragraph over and over in the hopes I'll manage to incorporate some sort of brilliant idea or metaphor into it.
This book helps with that.

Full of quirky little prompts like "write a love letter to a person you dislike", you'll find yourself flicking through the hundreds of pages, excited about the prospect of this little book of treasures, and unsure of which prompt to use
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great tool to get your writing juice flowing. Interesting prompts, funny, sometimes a bit more personal. A good book. Made me realize that I'm actually turning into my mother despite all my best efforts not to... (Prompt: In what way you are like your mother). Thankfully she also has good sides. ...more
Maria Vega
Aug 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great writing prompts. I plan to use this in my high school English classes.
Rick Queary
Sep 15, 2021 rated it did not like it
not a book. not reading. this is a collection of prompts to break out of "writer's block" that has been in the news as an Ohio school board has been called to resign or face child pornography charges for the items suggested to write about. i've read some of the suggestions and am appalled this was brought into a high school classroom. the educators SHOULD be held accountable for what they decide to use in their classrooms. it's possible they didn't know some of the topics. when i read a review i ...more
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely brilliant book of wholly unique and unexpected writing prompts that really challenge writers of every ability. Ge this book.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is not a book you read, but fill with writing yourself ... and i'm proud to say that i've (finally! After 2? years) got to the stage where there's an entry on almost every page. The prompts are fairly good and thought provoking and i've found that rather than trying to write something off the cuff immediately, it's almost better to let the prompt sink into your brian a bit and then write something later. In fact, i've even invested in its follow-up: 712 More Things to Write About and have b ...more
Alisha Torres
Jul 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not done with the entire book yet, but I can say it's wonderful! I bought this book as a tool to keep my mind fresh and thinking, so I do at least two of the writing "exercises" a day. I wasn't suffering from the dreaded writers block when I purchased the book, but rather because I hoped that each question/answer would force me to contemplate in a new way, and it did. Since I started using the book I've completed several chapters in a book I'm writing and have the first two chapters to a sec ...more
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've read through all the prompts once and wrote what popped out at me. Some prompts are personal (all you remember about your algebra teacher), some are not (you are a pirate, describe your perfect day), some are lists (10 bad bar pickup lines), some are activities (study a stranger, describe their mother). Great book if you want ideas for things to write and a place to write them in. ...more
Yamileth Osorio
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's the greatest purchase I've made (notebook wise) I love it. Many topics to write about on a daily basis too, like write a love letter to someone you don't like to deep topics as what's the last thing that made you cry. Great notebook to get ideas out or just for a fun hobby. A great way to start using that pen again! ...more
Feb 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really loved this book of writing prompts. They were all really creative and got my mind racing with possible book ideas. I found that the space they provided to "answer" the prompts weren't near enough, but I ended up using a separate notebook to collect my ideas anyway. I really recommend it if you're just looking for a book to help get your creative juices flowing! ...more
I've seen books poorly attempt what this book has winningly done: a humorous, practicle and inspiring list of writing prompts that I'd recommend anyone to buy - not only writers, because it'll aid your cause, but anyone as it'll rekindle memories and thoughts of your life you may have forgotten and bring interest back, even for the happy this is a good, fun book :) ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I usually don't do diaries or journals because I blank out on what to write after a while and it gets boring so a while back, I threw all my notebooks out. THIS book, is something I carry around with me where ever I go. It gives you so much to write and draw. Find yourself in all the answers you pull from deep down on to this. ...more
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-and-ideas
Well, this isn't really a book. But I really liked it as a prompt to writing, something to kick me out of the nest when I'm not in the mood.

I don't use it often and not in order, just a random prompt or two every now and then. I date the entries. Honestly, it's rather like a creative journal! For that reason it's fun. Perhaps someday I can read my silly drabbles and laugh with who I was =]
Dec 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, I would definitely recommend it to everyone.
It is not really a book but a collection of interesting prompts to write about.
I used it with my family, including my grandma in her 90s, choosing one topic randomly and giving them (and myself) one day to write something. Then we will present our stories to the others, I was really impressed about the results and it was so much fun.
Halah Butt
Mar 20, 2013 added it
Shelves: i-own
Gives me a boost on writing.It has many creative ideas that gets you started when you're suffering from 'writiers block'. I have only done a few but I'm still going.

Edit: I never know what to write still
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like writing
This book is a very creative way to practice your writing. I bought this book during the summer, and it helped me out in curing my boredom. If you like writing a lot, you'll love this book. If you don't like writing, then you won't like this book. ...more
Gemma Johnson
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I think that this book is amazing and its something you and your friends can join in with.

This has got to be one of the best buys so far :) it opens up your mind and gets ur imagination going!! I would reccomend for others to buy for a daily exercise xx
Krisztina Skrabonja
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book provides children with awesome creative writing ideas and the company has a website of "writers community" they may join. ...more
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Really great way to find some inspiration when your stuck. A lot of these prompts helped me figure out and hone in my story's plot. Two thumbs up. ...more
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I use this whenever I face a writer's block ...more
Feb 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: writing
As with the Young Writer's Edition, I'm marking this one as "read" even though I haven't done all of the prompts in it. I've certainly browsed through all of the pages numerous times and read all of the prompts, so that's fair enough. It's not the sort of book that you can really read in sequence - I've been dipping in and out of it on and off and I have found some interesting ideas.

It's written and published by an American group, so some of the ideas have to be adapted for those of us who don'
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I guess I was looking for more fresh ideas. So many of these ideas have been written about so many times already, or really didn't involve much creative thinking. However, I'm probably not giving it a fair rating as it was geared towards younger writers trying to develop the skills to write, not for someone full of ideas and just trying to see if anything in particular stuck out as interesting to add to my stories. Probably a solid four for younger writers. ...more
Simran  Kalsi
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! Can I give more than 5 stars to this one? The concept is amazing and the prompts are very interesting. It helps your creative juices to flow and is like a therapy for me! I am writing 1 to 2 pages almost daily and I am really grateful that I came across this book on the internet. I will be ordering the next one as well very soon.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books
My Nana had gotten me this book for my birthday because we joke about how I always tend to blow things out of contex and my constant fear of the worse things happening. Let's just say some of the things in this book did and didn't help me. ...more
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