What's it about?

This blog originally had a very specific purpose: it was a place to post prompts for creative writing during the time of the lockdown. Initially it was for the use of my writing group, as we could not for the time being meet in person - but it's available now to anyone who'd like to have a go at creative writing. I very strongly believe that writing is good for you: while you're writing, you're off somewhere else - you've escaped! So off you go - have fun!

Saturday 15 June 2024

A picture post


Monet - Gare St Lazaire

Sisley - The Road

Monet - The Beach at Trouville

Choose one of the pictures, and use it as a starting point for a piece of writing.
You could begin by simply describing the picture - then see where it takes you.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Stories from real life (adapted from Writing Magazine)


Note down some significant events from your life. This means significant to
you, for whatever reason. For example, here are a few of mine:

  • Sitting in a church at the age of about 12 and trying to understand the concept of infinity. (So terrifying I dreaded going into a church for some years to come.)
  • Reading Dracula - and then trying to sleep nights.
  • Having an interview at Oxford (because it was appalling and humilating.)
  • Going to univerity in Durham.
  • Going to work in London.
  • Going to see AC/DC in London from Leicester. (I didn't even like AC/DC, but I had the chance to do something spontaneous, so I did it and enjoyed it.)
  • Meeting my first-born.

NB They're not necessarily the most significant. Some events are too personal for me to want to share them - these are pretty random.

Choose one, and write about it. You could begin with: "I want to tell you the story of how I..."

Who are you writing it for? If it's for someone else, what do you think they will get out of reading your story?

Thursday 2 May 2024

Separation (with thanks to Writing Magazine)

Convey the impact of being separated.

It's up to you to decide who is separated from someone or something; who that person is and who or what they are separated from and why. Person can be fictional or real, or you could write from your own experience.

What are the circumstances that caused the separation?

How does the person experience the separation? What do they feel about it, how do they deal with it?

Write in any style or form, and from any point of view. 

Thursday 25 April 2024

Spring (with thanks to Writing Magazine)


Explore themes connected to the new season. Make a list of words and images that you associate with spring: eg new life, buds, eggs, swallows, renewal... how many more can you think of?

When you've finished your list, circle the ones that stand out to you. Then take one as a starting point and begin a new piece of writing in any style or form.

Thursday 18 April 2024

Library Tales (taken from Writing Magazine)

This week, begin a piece of writing with a library setting.

What kind of story could only take place in a library, and what would the library setting contribute?

Who is in the library, and why?

Where in the library could your story begin - in which section?

What particular things could happen in a library? What would the library setting contribute? A hunt for hidden knowledge? Discovery of a life-changing book? Meeting with a fellow bibliophile?

Will you write in the past, present or future? Will your story be grounded in reality? Have supernatural elements? Be aimed at adults or children?

Sunday 14 April 2024

Totally random story generator

 Write a story which includes three of the following:

A car park

An old tea pot

A bus station

A theatre/cinema

A velvet coat/jacket

A wheatfield

A box of old tools

A tree house/shepherd's hut

A piece of costume jewellery

A theatre programme

An old photograph

A book

A postcard

A powder compact

A hat

Sunday 10 March 2024

Picture post

 Look at these pictures. What do you think each of the subjects is thinking about? What might be happening in their life? Are they happy, worried, excited, sad?

Choose one and write a story - or a monologue, in which you get into their head and write as that person about what they're thinking, feeling etc.

The Bride - Eva Gonzales

Market Day - Camille Pissarro

By Toulouse Lautrec

Renoir - Woman with a Veil