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, 11 November 2022

Choose your title

This week, I asked everyone to contribute a title for a story or a non-fiction piece. Not quite sure which of these are supposed to be non-fiction - take your pick!

You can choose whichever title you like - now all you have to do is write the piece that goes with it!

The Colour of Clouds

Under a Midnight Sky

"What now?" I asked.

High Jinks at the Town Hall

The Life and Times of a Total Moron

The Rat who Lived in a Mine

Four Children, One Mum

Once Upon a Time...

The Christmas Party

Saturday, 5 November 2022

Tell us a story...

This task is from this month's Writing Magazine - it's the subject for a competition. (If you'd like to enter the competition, the story has to be 1500-1700 words, and the closing date is 15th December.) If you don't want to enter the competition, it can be any length that suits.

Tell us a true story using all your best narrative techniques - whether it happened to you, somebody you know, a distant historical figure, or even an inanimate object. 

Friday, 21 October 2022

Creating a character

Characters from the Duolingo language app.

* Choose a first name and write it down. (Don't think about your answers for two long; just go with whatever pops into your head.)

* Choose a surname, and write it underneath.

* Write down a physical characteristic about their face - eg piercing blue eyes, lots of wrinkles, soft red mouth.

* They have some sort of habit that they don't notice but other people do - like drumming their fingers, straightening cuffs, twiddling with a ring. What is it?

* What do they do for a living?

* What's their happiest memory from when they were a child?

* What are they afraid of?

* What do they want most of all?

* Brainstorm a few of their characteristics - eg cheerful, impatient, painstaking, anxious, confident.

So now you have a character. Put them into a story - which involves a journey of some kind.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Fairy Tale Twist


A new take on an old fairy tale - continue the story!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin hadn't reckoned on Mrs Muskett, Year 3's formidable music teacher...


Choose another fairy tale, and invent a similar twist.

Thursday, 6 October 2022

Lucky find...

Replacing a rotten window frame, you find a slip of paper wedged in the wall. It changes your life. How? (NB - it's not this particular note - this is just to illustrate the post!)


You are stripping off layers of wallpaper in your house. When you reach bare plaster, you find a drawing/message which shocks you. What is it, why does it shock you, and what happens next?

(Thanks to Writers' Forum for the first of these.)

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'!