Winter Solstice Writing Prompt

Many ancient sites are lined up with the solstice sun, indicating the cultural importance of this astronomical event for our ancestors. But what if we lived on a world with two suns? How would that impact on our culture and our rituals? And what would the world be like? This is an interesting exercise for world-building fantasy or sci-fi settings.

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A Message From an Unknown Writer

Something that seems mundane or everyday, could be the seed for an intriguing story. Often horror or thrillers use the familiar and give them a spin to unsettle and make the everyday something out of the ordinary. Think of the wardrobe, leading to Narnia and the television, in the film Poltergeist. Your writing prompt: Your…

TESU – Total Environmental Support Unit

A number of Animix-TESU class automatons go berserk, terrorising a large and byzantine manga style city on edge of nowhere. A persistent rumor whispered in the bars and drinking dens is that they are controlled by a mysterious and enigmatic young woman. Most of the city’s population are miners and the rest are the transient…

Witchy workings…

Halloween or All Hallows’ Eve is coming closer so it makes sense to put some of that mystique into a writing prompt. When I think of Halloween my experience is limited to a general sigh at the racks of masks, spider cakes and general nonsense that my local supermarket displays. I have two young children…

Creating Memorable Characters: Part 2

  Now it’s time to create a playmate for your main character – someone they can bounce off, creating conflict, tension and a fertile ground for growing stories. First, I must apologise for not posting this writing prompt last week. I completely forgot, due to work and then a weekend of parties taking over. Now, let’s…

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow

Creating Memorable Characters

This is the bit where I say something obvious like, ‘characters are central to your story’. Yes, such pearls of wisdom. You’ve travelled far and this is what you get? Instead I’m going to assume that you know characters are important. That’s why you’re here. So let’s just get down to the bit where I…

autumn dragon made of leaves

What’s the Taste of Autumn?

Autumn is a particularly sensual time of year. As animals, we feel the change in the air; the fading light of summer, the chill in the air and the falling leaves reminding us that all things must come to an end. As writers, autumn can remind us to use all the senses when we describe a…

A Legacy of Books

Write a bequest of a books from a parent to their child, what would they say? what are their intentions? To whom would someone leave their books and why? Are they bequeathed to a family member, or a friend? Are they expected to read the books, sell them or curate them? Books complete with ticket stub bookmarks, annotations and…

Isle of the Dead

Isle of the Dead – a Picture

Sometimes a picture is enough to spark a story idea. I once attended a workshop, as part of Buddleigh Salterton Literary Festival. We were all given the same image and 30 minutes to write a story, based on that photo. No two stories were alike and mine became a short, I called ‘Peaches’. Your writing…

The promised land

This morning’s writing prompt is… You have left your homeland with your family and several others in a fleet of ships. You land on what appears to be an empty and fruitful land. How would you and your family adapt? Or would you try and live as you did in your old land? Would your…