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, 2 July 2020

Starting with the end

When writers get together to discuss writing, sooner or later they will start to discuss planning. Some will shudder and say they can't bear to be tied to a plan; others will look anxious and say they have to know exactly what's going to happen before they start.

Many - Philip Pullman is one - will say that they don't know exactly what's going to happen, and it would be boring if they did: but they do need to know how their story will end.

The ending of Casablanca - brilliant, as is everything else about this film:
'Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.'

So here to help as ever, I'm going to give you a list of endings. (They are real ones.) All you have to do is write the story that leads up to the one you choose. Also as ever, my advice would be to start with a spider chart to help you gather ideas - but that's up to you!

  • It had never occurred to him that a dog could be clairvoyant.
  • I turned and walked away through the rain.
  • It was all right.
  • And everything, every smallest detail, would be written on my heart forever.
  • I turned the key in the ignition and drove off.
  • From hate to love - the journey was only just starting. 
  • There should be no need to dig there ever again.
  • I put out my hand to stop her getting up and I cross the room to answer the phone.
  • 'Now how about another drink? I'm as thirsty as hell.'

(Adapted from an exercise in The Five-Minute Writer, by Margret Geraghty.)


  1. The depressing thing is:I don't recognise a single one of those endings!

  2. I do.

    Some years ago, around the turn of the millenium, I was homeless. I had arrived in Chichester by train, one late fternoon of a January day.  Wandered around for a while, visited the library and left when it closed. Later, I returned to the station, and sat in the waiting room for several hours. 

    After a further walk around the main streets..., at about 1am, I came across the police station.  I was freezing. I enquired of the duty officer if I might sleep in one of the cells till morning.  No.  He did say that there was a night refuge in the town, that took in people at 6pm, so I could try there tomorrow. 

    I did that the following day.  I stayed there on numerous occasions over the years.  Also, famers' fields, lakesides, bank ATM foyer, abandoned huts on waste ground.  Around Chichester, I was unimpressed with the attitude of the police towards homeless people. Also, some of the attitudes at the night refuge, and elsewhere. So, I started to write letters, which described what I had seen. 

    After a couple of years, I graduated to vehicle ownership.  An acquaintance of mine had recently
    purchased a car for £5, a Citroen 2CV. He later offered it to me for £30.   I did have £30, so acquired it, and was well pleased with my purchase.  I travelled many miles in it, whilst generally being around Chichester.

    Although I never had any contact with police, they clearly knew that I owned the 2CV. One late evening, around midnight, I returned to the multi storey car park where I had parked to find the door unlocked, and all my belongings turned upside down.  A little note inside from the police to say that they had found my car unlocked, and checked to see if it had been vandalised (!).  Their way of letting me know they knew
    what I drove.  I wondered if they were disappointed to find nothing incriminating. 

    I continued my observations around town, and continued to write letters. I later sold the Citroen for £100, and upgraded to a car with an MOT. An Austin Maestro, for £125.

    One day, after a wander around town, I returned to the car. I'd left it in a 1 hour parking zone, and had almost managed to squeeze into the last space. The very back of the car, though, overhung the beginning of double yellow lines. As I made to unlock the driver's door, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed 
    two policemen walking directly towards me from the other side of the road.  Clearly, my little overhang was not OK. I turned to face them. As I did so, they stopped short. I heard..... " Oh, Christ, it's him...", and they turned, and walked rapidly away. 

    I climbed into the car, turned the key in the ignition and drove off.