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, 24 September 2020

The next step...

 As a couple of you have already guessed, your next task is to to write a story using your character/s. 

Just to chuck something else into the mix, you could 'borrow' a character from someone else too, and arrange a meeting - a meeting which could lead to a change, even if only a small one, in one or both of their lives...? 

Don't forget about setting - especially if this 'story' ends up being largely dialogue, setting could help to set the mood, change the pace, and alleviate/create tension.

Saturday, 12 September 2020


To me, both as a writer and as a reader, characters are the most important element of fiction. So let's begin what I always think of as the new year (the legacy of my teaching years) with a focus on people.

Ideally, I'd like you to go out and do some people-watching. (Obviously not in a creepy sort of way...) Look at the people around you. Some will intrigue you more than others.  Choose two - initially: you're very welcome to do more.

If you're not able to get out an

Describe them, as accurately as you can. Describe them physically - but also, what drew you to them? What is particularly interesting/unusual/appealing about them? What can you imagine about the sort of person they are, the way they live.

Don't get into a story just yet. This task is about observation.

Rembrandt was clearly a great people-watcher...

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

'Summer's lease hath all too short a date...'

Welcome back!

The quote above comes from Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 - the one that begins: 'Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?' (In it, he suggests that the fame of the person he is addressing will last far longer than a summer's day - because, apart from anything else, of the poem. And it turns out he was right, wasn't he?)

Anyway, I've appropriated it - because here we are, at what feels like the end of summer and the beginning of autumn, and I want you to think about that. Do you regret the passing of summer, or do you look forward to the crisper days of autumn?

As ever, you could start by gathering some ideas together. What was/is good about summer? What do you look forward to - or not - about autumn?

Here are some suggestions for writing. You choose - do one, two, or all three! 

  • Haiku(s) - always useful for limbering up, and to focus your thoughts. Remember - 17 syllables: first line five, second line seven, third line five.
  • A reflective piece at the turn of the season: an opportunity to look back, but also to look forward.
  • A story or memoir, with the above title. The obvious theme might be transitoriness: a particularly special summer which ended in loss of some kind; some aspect of life at a seaside resort! I'm sure you'll have your own ideas.