Writing Crawls

Hello! I’ve failed to crank more than one post out this week, but oh well. And I usually plan out my posts in advance (there are 7 draft posts and 1 scheduled post in my queue as of this morning) but this one struck me a few minutes ago. Yay for spontaneity!


Have you ever heard of a writing crawl?  Writing crawls are prompts that allow the writer participate in a story while writing their own. It challenges the writer to come up with a certain number of words for certain situations. Before I get too confusing, here’s an example:

You wake up in a jungle, with no memory of who you are or how you arrived there.  Write 100 words to calm down. You notice the sound of water running nearby and stumble to your feet. You realize how thirsty you are and run toward the sound. Sprint 5 minutes. You arrive at the water and quickly drink.  

With crawls like this, you follow the story and prompts as you go.  I’ve seen other crawls that act as choose-your-own adventure stories too.

You are a brave knight who is rescuing a princess across the country.  You start out your adventure by purchasing supplies at the village store.  Sprint ten minutes to see what you can afford. >200 words = food. 200-400 words = food, weapons. 400+ = food, weapons, armor. Once you begin your adventure, you stumble across a dragon.  Write 200 words in three minutes (four minutes if you purchased armor) to defeat the dragon. If you failed, write another 500 words to run away. You continue on. 

And the crawls are surprisingly fun to write too!

I love both kinds of prompts, although I prefer prompts that tell you to write a certain number of words instead of a sprint which is timed. I write slowish 🙂  If you’re having trouble working on a story or want to have a little fun with your last stretch of words, you can find lots of crawls on nanowrimo.org.

Have you ever used a writing crawl before? Does it help you write more words? Would you like to see crawls featured on here?


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