What's it about?

This blog has a very specific purpose: it's 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 cannot for the time being meet in person - but I want to open it up 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! And that can only be a good thing during lockdown.

Do sign up to be notified by email when a new prompt is posted - usually on Thursdays - and I would love to hear how you're getting on in the comments. Have fun!

Thursday, 8 September 2022

There are places I remember...

 For this task, begin by thinking of a house, or maybe just a room you remember: or you could choose a workplace or an office - anywhere, really, that means something to you.

Draw a rough sketch plan of the place. Then annotate it: eg This was where my sister and I listened to records; The sitting room where we watched TV together and I first saw... etc.

Then choose one of the memories/notes, and use it a a springboard for a piece of writing: could be a story, could be memoir.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022


Margaret very sensibly suggested when we met that it would be a good idea if I set you something to write about ready for our first meeting of the new 'school' year. So here you go.

First option: choose one of the following pictures, and write a story suggested by it. You could begin by describing the picture, if you like; or you could launch straight into the story. One possibility would be to focus on one character in your chosen picture, and get into their head - ie write about what's going on in their voice, and see where that leads you. Or you could write about what happened before the scene in the picture, or about what happens after it.

Picture by Vermeer

Edvard Munch

The Fitting, by Paula Rego

OR, if none of these takes your fancy, write a piece entitled 'Something that happened on holiday'!

Wednesday, 22 June 2022


 These are titles of books that members of the group have read recently. Choose one, and write a story suggested by it.

The Whispers

Marriage of Opposites

Bleak House

When will something good happen?

Coffin Road

Ingenious Pain

The Secret Garden

Behind the scenes at the museum

The Magic Circle

And a pretty picture, just for fun.

Friday, 20 May 2022

Something to cheer us up...


We were chatting in the last session about how relentlessly grim the news is at the moment - and Jude made a very heartfelt request for a task that would cheer us up rather than make us more miserable. This seemed eminently sensible - so here we go!

  • During the week, look out for positive news stories - local, national or international. Come armed with at least one to share with us all.
  • Think about a place that made you feel happy, and write about it. Remember about using all the senses - hearing, smell, taste and touch - or at least a couple besides the visual. Might be useful to find a photograph to remind you, if you have one, but that's not essential.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Characters and emotions

 So this week's task - first, make up a character. We did it in class by answering these questions:

Choose a first name

Then a second name

Character's favourite piece of clothing

Their job

Secret fear

Secret ambition/desire

(In class, we then described the room/house this character lives in - but you don't need to do that.)


Use your character in a story. The other main element is a particular EMOTION, such as pity, love, fear, jealousy, anger - as the main driver for your story, the thing that sets the action off.

Or, if you'd like a change from stories, write about a time in your own life when one of these emotions was dominant.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Starting with a title

 Choose a book title that you like - it can be one you've read, or you could just skim the titles on Amazon or another book shop site and choose one from there.

Now write a short story, to go with this title.

For instance: Hard Times, The Darling Buds of May, The Lost Girl, Still Life, Glass Houses...

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Everything but the eyes...

 (NB: this exercise is taken from http//www.be-a-better-writer.com/creative-writing-activities.html)

Many of us are visually oriented. We forget that others may respond equally well to a sense of smell or hearing. Describe a place of importance to you using sensory details of taste, smell, hearing or touch - anything except the visual.