I’ve mentioned reddit’s /r/WritingPrompts before, but for those unfamiliar it is a subreddit dedicated to writing prompts. Users will either post a writing prompt themselves or respond to another user’s prompt. Contributors are a varied group: some are beginner writers, practicing the new freedom of storytelling; some are more experienced, polishing the finer details of the craft. All are there to share their creations.
From reddit and /r/WritingPrompts, a few books have been born. Here are some examples of reddit authors:
1,000 Awesome Writing Prompts by Ryan Andrew Kinder
Ryan Andrew Kinder, or /u/RyanKinder, is the redditor who resurrected /r/WritingPrompts from the ashes (or so the legend goes). Kinder has since published a collection of his best writing prompts.
Don’t use writing prompts? You might want to start. Writing prompts can be a good tool for authors who are stuck without a story to write about, or who want to do something a bit different and like the challenge of a preset scenario. From my experience with my novelette Two in the Bush, writing prompts can result in a genuine story which draws you in, a story you might not have come to without the prompt.
As reviewers have noted, these prompts are geared for a more science-fiction/fantasy crowd than other collections, so if you tend to write in genres other than these, this book might not be your style. But if those genres appeal to you, or you would like to look at prompts outside your comfort zone, Kinder’s collection of writing prompts might one for you.
[Prompt Me] by W. P. Kimball
W. P. Kimball, or /u/Luna_LoveWell, is a reddit author who really took off in the /r/WritingPrompts subreddit. Kimball is perhaps best known for her Harry Potter responses, which illustrate her particular affinity with Rowling‘s work. (If you didn’t catch it, she takes her penname from the Harry Potter character Luna Lovegood.)
Kimball writes in a variety of genres—science-fiction, fantasy, humor, romance, etc.—all of which are featured in her [Prompt Me] collection. If you aren’t sold on picking up [Prompt Me] and want to get a taste of Kimball’s writing first, check out her subreddit where she posts all her writings, those from /r/WritingPrompts and others. You can also sort her comments by her top submissions to see what reddit users have voted as her best work, the top two of which are humorous stories involving trashtalking Xbox live users.
Sam Garland, or /u/Poem_for_your_sprog, is not actually a contributor to /r/WritingPrompts that I have seen, but I must include him on the list anyway because, in truth, Garland uses the entirety of reddit as a writing prompts resource. Garland comments on a variety of reddit submissions, and always in the form of a poem.
In June, Garland released his first poetry collection, The Mouse in the Manor House (and other poems). The collection quickly climbed to the #1 spot on Amazon’s hot new releases for poetry, which is not surprising considering Garland’s dedicated reddit following.
While The Mouse in the Manor House (and other poems) is written for both children and adults, you can find a number of Garland’s other poems in his reddit history and subreddit where they range from sweet and touching to hilarious and inappropriate. To see the most popular of Garland’s work, look at his top posts for examples, the highest rated of which is his response to the AskReddit question “If Dr. Seuss was a real doctor, what would his diagnoses sound like?” Spoiler alert: it’s fantastic.
Collective Ramblings of a Mentally Unstable Alpaca by Cesar Vitale
Cesar Vitale, or /u/psycho_alpaca, is another reddit author who has gained a following in the /r/WritingPrompts subreddit. As you might gather from the title of collection, Vitale writes eclectic stories, mostly leaning towards humor and science-fiction.
Like Kimball, Vitale maintains a subreddit for his writings. Sort his reddit submissions to see his top voted stories, including one about a squirrel coming to the rescue of someone being fired.
If you need something longer than a short story, in October, Vitale released an 18,000 word novella titled Eve (or: ‘How to be a Zombie and not Murder Everyone’). Eve follows the unlikely pair of a zombie girl and a human boy as they travel together across a zombie-filled land.
Have any favorite bits from these reddit authors? Or any other reddit authors I missed that I should check out?