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!

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.

Thursday, 17 February 2022


1.  Choose a house. It can be one you've known, or you can choose one from a picture. Describe it - imagine what kind of person might live in it. What do you think it would be like to live there? It's going to be the setting for a story. See pictures below for some examples.

2.  You have quite a while before the next lesson, so I would urge you to use it to do some covert observation - in a cafe, on the street, anywhere. Pick on a person and observe them; describe them, search for clues so you can imagine what their lives are like. (But be discreet!) Don't stop at one - make a habit of it! Carry a notebook, so that (obviously) you can make notes.

Friday, 11 February 2022

Character starters - for HW 10/2/22

 Here are three prompts - they tell you a little bit about a character, and you are invited to use them as a basis for building a character. We did the first one in class, but I've included it in case Sally wants to do that one as well.

Use them as a starting point to explore the character - why are they like this? What might have made them so?

- 'She had a knack for getting to the bottom of things...'

- 'He had seen too much. It was written on his face...'

- 'She was thin, neat and brisk. She seemed absent of any colour - she was just grey...'

Thursday, 3 February 2022

One Day

 Here is a link to a blog post by author Liz Kessler, who writes about a day which utterly changed - in fact saved - the lives of her father and his family - do have a look at it. Her family was Jewish, and they were living in Vienna in the 1930s, when, during a trip on a steamboat on the Danube, they had a chance encounter with an English couple...

Write a piece of your own, entitled 'One Day', about a day which significantly changes things for the narrator. It can be fact or fiction.